Man admits bribing city employee

December 15, 1992|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

A Westminster man pleaded guilty yesterday to bribing a former Baltimore public works employee with cash, western apparel and vacation stays in Ocean City in exchange for city business for dump truck parts and service.

Keith E. Graham, 32, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 21 after pleading guilty in Baltimore Circuit Court to one count of bribery. He has already paid $100,000 in restitution to the city, said Michael McDonough, an assistant state prosecutor.

The public works employee, Floyd W. Dearborn, pleaded guilty in March to accepting bribes from Graham and C. William Waddle, owner of Waddle Truck Equipment Inc. of Baltimore. Mr. Waddle was not charged because he made restitution of $115,000 and cooperated in the investigation, Mr. McDonogh said.

Dearborn, 64, is to be sentenced Friday. The former fleet manager for the city admitted accepting more than $185,000 in cash, as well as the vacation stays and fancy cowboy boots and hats, in exchange for steering more than $1.5 million in city business to International Harvester Co. and its subcontractors.

Prosecutors said Dearborn, starting in 1983, tailored bid specifications to fit the equipment sold by International Harvester and the other firms involved in the sales of dump trucks and equipment such as dump truck hoppers and snow plows. Among those subcontractors was Snyder Body Inc., a Hampstead company that distributed hydraulic systems for dump trucks.

Graham worked at Snyder as vice president and general sales manager until 1986, when he left to form K&L Truck Equipment Co., Inc. Prosecutors say city business followed Graham to his new company.

Prosecutors said Dearborn received $48,000 in bribes from Graham for contracts to refurbish 17 dump trucks and provide the equipment for about 60 more. According to the state's case, Graham also provided free vacation accommodations in Ocean City for Dearborn and two other city employees.

While with Snyder, Graham issued more than $87,000 in checks recorded as "outside sales commission" to an International Harvester salesman who, in return, would issue personal checks to Graham for lesser amounts, Mr. McDonough said. Graham passed on to Dearborn at least half of the $28,000 he received from the salesman, Mr. McDonough said.

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