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For Immediate Release
September 12, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CONTRACTOR CONVICTED IN CURRAN’S CONTINUING CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION AT UMBC

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Joseph Don Cheek, of Neepier Road in Catonsville, has been convicted of Bribery in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.

Mr. Cheek pled guilty before the Honorable John G. Turnbull, II in connection with a bribery scheme from 2000 to 2004 involving construction projects at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). During the scheme, Mr. Cheek was employed as a Project Manager for Bell Mechanical Services and Banks Contracting Company, Inc., contractors that were involved in projects at UMBC. In the court proceedings, Mr. Cheek admitted that he provided benefits to state employee Andrew Reider, a UMBC Project Manager in the Construction Services Division, in exchange for favorable treatment in the awarding and administering of construction projects at UMBC. The benefits included materials and labor for a new basement bathroom, the purchase and installation of a new heat pump, and contributions towards an annual golf vacation which Reider attended free of charge. In exchange for the benefits, Reider, who was charged today with accepting Mr. Cheek’s and others’ bribes, improperly steered construction projects to Cheek’s former employers. Sentencing is scheduled for November 21, 2006.

The case was referred by the UMBC Police Department, and investigated by the AG’s Criminal Investigations Division, the Maryland State Police, and the University System of Maryland Internal Audit Office.

   

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