Probation agent gets bribe term

October 30, 1990|By Raymond L. Sanchez | Raymond L. Sanchez,Evening Sun Staff

A probation agent has been sentenced to 90 days in the City Jail for accepting bribes.

Ronald Farmer, 37, pleaded guilty yesterday before Baltimore Circuit Judge Kenneth Lavon Johnson, who sentenced him to three years in prison but suspended all but 90 days.

Farmer also was placed on three years' probation and fined $500.

"Violation of the public trust will not be tolerated," Johnson said.

Farmer, employed by the state Division of Parole and Probation for 11 years, was charged with bribery, extortion and theft after authorities wiretapped conversations he had in February and March with Michael Foote, who was accused of violating his probation.

Foote told authorities that Farmer took $100 from him in exchange for favorable testimony at Foote's probation hearing, prosecutor Haven H. Kodeck said. Equipped with a wiretap, Foote gave Farmer a total of $300 on two other occasions.

On March 13, Farmer testified favorably at Foote's probation hearing in Howard County. A judge continued his probationary status.

Outside Howard County District Court, Farmer told Foote in a wiretapped conversation: "I think I did such a wonderful job . . . I deserve a bonus."

Farmer, who is suspended with pay from his $30,000-a-year job, is awaiting an administrative hearing by the Division of Parole and Probation.

"It's just tragic to see a life . . . a whole career go down the drain," defense lawyer Michael Kaminkow said.

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