Two officials, builders charged in probe of Housing Authority

January 25, 1995|By Marcia Myers | Marcia Myers,Sun Staff Writer

Four more people were charged yesterday in the federal fraud and corruption probe of the Housing Authority of Baltimore.

Prosecutors accused the president and vice president of Lanocha Construction Inc. with lying when they appeared before a federal grand jury in late 1993. At that time, both men admitted making illegal payments to a Housing Authority engineer and denied making such payments to any other public employees, according to court papers.

Charges filed yesterday in U.S. District Court allege that company President Timothy Lanocha and his brother, Vice President William W. Lanocha Jr., also made illegal payments to the housing agency's construction chief and to an official with the state Community Development Administration (CDA), which administers loans for local housing projects.

The two officials were charged with accepting illegal payments.

The Lanochas paid about $2,000 to Edward J. Simmons, Housing Authority construction chief who was involved with several construction projects done by Lanocha from 1990 to 1993, prosecutors said.

The money included $500 in connection with a plan to renovate the West Arlington Water Tower in Baltimore for $124,852, according to court records. Mr. Simmons, a 26-year city employee, resigned from his job Monday.

George W. Green, a construction management officer on CDA-funded projects involving the Lanocha firm from 1990 to 1994, was charged with accepting $900 in cash from the company. That sum included a payment of $500 in October 1994 in connection with a $650,000 loan to renovate the Royalton Arms in Baltimore.

If convicted, Mr. Simmons and Mr. Green each face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Lanochas each face maximum sentences of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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