Tom Barnes
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 17, 2020

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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HARRISBURG — The former Special Forces colonel who has headed the state Office of Homeland Security for four years and who now finds himself at the center of a firestorm over an anti-terrorism contract is missing in action.

James F. Powers Jr. has basically gone underground since Tuesday, when Gov. Ed Rendell denounced a $103,000 no-bid contract that Mr. Powers had given to the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, which has offices in Philadelphia and Israel.

Mr. Powers, who makes $106,602 a year, hasn’t been returning phone calls from the news media this week and was said to be out of his office when a reporter stopped in on Wednesday. He did not return a call to his home and his office turned down a request to interview him.

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Mr. Powers, who lives in Carlisle, served in the Army from 1971 to 2001 in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Korea and Washington.

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