A 75-year-old Brooklyn Park man was placed on five years' probation yesterday in connection with charges that he solicited a bribe while working for the county government's community development program.
Two months ago, William Lawrence Murphy Jr. pleaded guilty 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 rehabilitation project.
Yesterday, in county Circuit Court, Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. erased the guilty verdict and granted Murphy probation before judgment.
The judge placed Murphy on five years' unsupervised probation and ordered him to pay $145 in court costs.
The judge made his ruling after hearing several of Murphy's relatives and friends say they were shocked that an otherwise law-abiding family man had been involved in the bribery scheme.