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For Immediate Release
May 20, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ANOTHER SENTENCED IN CURRAN’S CONTINUING CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Lori Hare, 34, was sentenced in the Circuit Court for Garrett County to two years in jail, with all but four months suspended, for accepting bribes from Stone Cold Chemical, Incorporated, a janitorial and maintenance supply company. Hare, of Grantsville, Maryland, was also fined $1,000, and placed on two years probation. As an employee of the Accident, Maryland State Highway Administration maintenance facility between January 2001 and November 2002, Hare 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 to ignore her duty to purchase products at the best and lowest prices for the State.

According to the evidence, Hare ordered more than $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, 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, and the company has lost its privileges to do business in Maryland by virtue of Attorney General Curran’s Antitrust Division’s petition to the Board of Public Works.

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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