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For Immediate Release
April 12, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ANOTHER BRIBERY CONVICTION IN CURRAN’S CONTINUING CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Lori Hare, 34, pled guilty to bribery in the Circuit Court for Garrett County. Hare, an employee of the Accident, Maryland State Highway Administration maintenance facility between January 2001 and November 2002, received bribes from Stone Cold Chemical, Incorporated, a janitorial and maintenance supply company from which she ordered numerous items using her State credit card. Hare, of Grantsville, Maryland, acknowledged in her plea that she accepted hundreds of dollars in gift certificates from Wal-Mart and Lowe’s 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.

According to the evidence, Hare ordered over $22,000 worth of over-priced items from Stone Cold, sometimes for as much as 12 times the value. For example, she paid $37 per can of room deodorizer, $26 a can of automobile polish and $28 a tube of waterless hand soap. Since the bribes paid were computed as a percentage of the total order, this served as an incentive to order more. The evidence showed that Hare placed a total of 16 orders for which she was paid a bribe each time. She directed Stone Cold to send the bribes to her home, rather than her office, presumably to avoid detection of her scheme.

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

To date, Attorney General Curran’s office has charged a total of six former State employees, two of whom have already pled guilty. Linda Simms of Waldorf, Md. was convicted in Charles County Circuit Court and given a suspended sentence and one year probation, in addition to being ordered to pay a $1000 fine, while Vivian McLean Odom, who was convicted in Baltimore City Circuit Court, was given 30 days in jail, a $500 fine and 2 years probation. The State’s investigation is continuing and more charges are expected.

The matter was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Legislative Auditor, and was investigated by the Attorney General’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Maryland State Police.

   

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