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For Immediate Release
April 22, 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 Chrissy Martin of Knoxville Maryland, pled guilty to bribery in the Circuit Court for Howard County. The Honorable Diane Leasure sentenced Ms. Martin to two years in prison, with all but six months suspended. Martin was also sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay court costs.

Martin, an employee of the Dayton, Maryland State Highway Administration maintenance facility between January 2002 and February 2003, received bribes from Stone Cold Chemical, Incorporated, a janitorial and maintenance supply company from which she ordered numerous items using her State credit card. Martin, acknowledged in her plea that she received hundreds of dollars of gift certificates from National Ropers Supply, Outback Steakhouse, Victoria’s Secret, Dinner Guest, and the Turf Valley Day Spa, for the purpose of influencing her in the performance of her official duties as a State employee and for neglecting and failing to perform the same. One particular item which Martin ordered from Stone Cold was dated February 22, 2002, and was for 10 cans of "Blackout", a tar stripper, at $1,425.96. This comes to $137.20 per can, plus freight, whereas Stone Cold’s confidential price list has it at $3/can. 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, three 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. Lori Hare, 34, pled guilty to bribery in the Circuit Court for Garrett County. Hare was an employee of the Accident, Maryland State Highway Administration maintenance facility between January 2001 and November 2002.

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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