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For Immediate Release
March 10, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

FOURTH EX-STATE EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH ACCEPTING BRIBES IN CURRAN’S CONTINUING CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a Criminal Information has been filed against Esther Coombs of Brooklyn, Md. in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. The Criminal Information alleges that Ms. Coombs, 39, a former employee of the Annapolis State Highway Administration maintenance facility, between January 2001 and December , 2002 received bribes from Stone Cold Chemical, Incorporated, a janitorial and maintenance supply company from whom she ordered numerous items, using her State credit card.

Ms. Coombs is accused of accepting hundreds of dollars in gift certificates from Wal-Mart and ToysRUs, for the purpose of influencing her in the performance of her official procurement duties as a State employee and for neglecting and failing to perform the same. Coombs is the fourth person charged so far in Curran’s investigation: Vivian McLean Odom of Baltimore City, Chrissy Martin of Knoxville Maryland, and Linda Simms of Waldorf have also been charged.

Stone Cold’s owners and salespeople have been successfully prosecuted in Georgia and Florida State Courts for bribing State employees.

A criminal information is merely an accusation of wrongdoing, and every individual is presumed innocent until the charges are proven by the State. The matter was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Legislative Auditor, and was investigated by the AG’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Maryland State Police.


 

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