A former state tax official was sentenced yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to nine years in prison for accepting $25,000 in bribes from area companies in exchange for lowering or wiping out their state tax assessments and fines.
Gary C. Fisher, 39, also must pay $25,000 restitution and will spend 10 years on probation after his release from prison. The crimes for which he was sentenced -- misconduct in office, bribery and falsification of public records -- were his first criminal convictions.
According to a sentencing memorandum presented in Circuit Court, Fisher's seven-year bribery scheme "was effected through a variety of corrupt acts and was diabolical in its cleverness." In all, Fisher wiped out $270,000 in tax liabilities owed to the state.
"He's hardly a first-time offender when you're talking about a pattern of corruption that goes back seven years," said Carolyn H. Henneman, assistant attorney general.