Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter has acknowledged the FBI is looking into allegations that one of his aides illegally helped her lobbyist husband get federal dollars for his clients.

The Republican lawmaker on Wednesday provided The Associated Press a copy of a letter sent by the FBI in August to his office that said staff member Vicki Siegel Herson is under investigation in connection with allegations reported earlier this year.

USA Today first reported in February that Specter helped direct $48.7 million in Pentagon spending over the past five years to clients of the staff member’s lobbyist husband, Michael Herson. Specter has said the institutions that ultimately got the money were represented by people not associated with Herson. He added that he was never lobbied by Herson or his firm.

Siegel Herson was Specter’s legislative assistant for appropriations at the time.

Specter said the FBI asked for and received the findings of an internal investigation of the matter conducted by his former chief of staff.

Specter, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has denied violating any Senate ethics rules.

© 2006 The Associated Press