Contractor admits bribing former city housing official

October 18, 1994|By Marcia Myers | Marcia Myers,Sun Staff Writer

A contractor charged with bribing an official of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City pleaded guilty yesterday, the fourth conviction to result from a federal probe into fraud at the agency.

Anthony R. Snell, 38, of Woodlawn, president and owner of Bryce Construction, pleaded guilty to one count of federal program bribery for paying $5,500 in kickbacks to former Housing Authority engineer John L. Dutkevich. In January, Dutkevich pleaded guilty to accepting more than $25,000 in bribes between 1990 and last year in connection with agency contracts.

Snell admitted to inflating invoices on projects overseen by Dutkevich. He paid Dutkevich from the excess and the inflated costs -- about $11,000 -- were passed on to the agency, prosecutors said. The payments were made by check between March and August of 1992, according to court records.

Snell, who had agreed to cooperate in the Dutkevich probe, was named two weeks ago in a one-count criminal charge filed by prosecutors.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary P. Jordan said prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of between six months and one year when Snell is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frederic N. Smalkin on Jan. 4. Snell could not be reached at his company yesterday.

The payments between Snell and Dutkevich are unrelated to the ongoing investigation of fraud in the agency's $25 million no-bid repair program. That broad probe has resulted in two convictions.

Friday, Sedrick F. Chavis, president and owner of Sedrick F. Chavis Construction Co., pleaded guilty to making illegal payments to an official who ran the no-bid program.

The Vacancy Special Funding Program, financed with federal funds, began in March 1993 to reduce the agency's waiting list of 18,000 families by renovating homes in Baltimore. Prosecutors have ordered the agency to turn over invoices, payment records and other documents on seven of the 32 contractors hired under that program.

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