Landfill employee pleads guilty in trash-fee fraud case Scale operator agrees to cooperate in probe

February 11, 1997|By Kristina M. Schurr | Kristina M. Schurr,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A former scale operator at the county's Millersville Landfill pleaded guilty yesterday to charges that she helped cheat the county out of about $5 million in uncollected trash-hauling fees, the state's attorney's office said.

Jennifer Allison of Chester in Queen Anne's County agreed to cooperate with the state in its continuing investigation of criminal activities at the landfill in exchange for a reduced or suspended sentence, said State's Attorney William D. Roessler.

From January 1992 to June 1995, Allison, 28, took bribes to record lesser weights for trash brought into the landfill by several commercial haulers who pick up trash for businesses and apartment complexes, county officials said.

This meant lower fees for the haulers, who are charged $60 a ton of trash, and a loss of about $5 million in tipping fees for the county.

Allison was indicted in October on four counts of bribery, one count of felony theft and three counts of conspiracy to commit theft.

Another scale operator, Deborah Lee of Glen Burnie, was indicted in November on similar charges. She is scheduled to enter a plea Feb. 18.

Three trash hauling companies -- Greater Baltimore Hauling of Hanover, and Don's Trash and D & J Hauling Inc., both of Sparks -- and their two owners, Donald E. Warrener of Baltimore County and Michael Gunther of Severn, were indicted in October on charges of felony theft, bribery and conspiracy to commit theft.

Allied Refuse and Millersville Roofing and Guttering, both of Millersville, were indicted in October on charges of bribery.

Allison's cooperation with the prosecution could help her when she is sentenced May 23.

She could receive a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and restitution to the county of up to $25,000. Her attorney, J. Michael Wachs, said he would argue for a suspended sentence.

"Her involvement pales in comparison to the other people who've been charged," he said. "She is less culpable than anyone."

Pub Date: 2/11/97

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