Man, 74, Admits Soliciting Bribe

March 03, 1992

A 74-year-old Brooklyn Park man pleaded guilty yesterday to soliciting a bribe while working for the county government's community development program.

William Lawrence Murphy Jr. admitted to soliciting -- and accepting -- a $300 bribe as part of a scheme involving an inflated bill for a contractor's work at a Severn housing rehabilitationproject.

Murphy, a "rehabilitation specialist," was arrested last Novemberafter the contractor told police he had succumbed to pressure from Murphy to submit an inflated bill and split the amount overcharged, prosecutor Kathleen Rogers said. Police supplied the contractor with $300 and watched as he gave the money to Murphy at a meeting last November near the Marley Station mall, Rogers said.

After his arrest, Murphy told police he had pulled the scheme five or six times in the past few years because he was "desperate for money," Rogers said yesterday in county Circuit Court. Rogers said she would recommend a suspended sentence for Murphy, who was fired after his arrest.

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