Ex-housing manager guilty of taking tenants' bribes

March 27, 1998|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

The former manager of a West Baltimore housing cooperative pleaded guilty yesterday to accepting $22,500 in bribes from people looking to circumvent the long waiting list for subsidized apartments.

In return for a bribe of $1,500, Dorothy Y. Budd would move an applicant's name to the top of the list, saving him or her a two-year wait, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan M. Ringler.

Budd's scheme at the Poppleton Cooperative, a 96-unit federally subsidized development at 838 W. Fairmount Ave., unraveled in October 1996 when the FBI sent in an undercover agent posing as a housing applicant.

The agent paid the $1,500 bribe and was offered a unit a few months later, according to a statement of facts presented in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

In an interview, "Budd advised law enforcement agents that she had accepted approximately 15 bribery payments each from Poppleton tenants beginning in 1993, in return for allowing them to bypass the waiting list," according to the statement of facts.

Budd, 46, used the money to pay for her personal expenses, rent and bills, court papers said. Federal prosecutors said they will ask a federal judge to sentence her to a minimum of 10 months in prison at her sentencing May 22.

The Poppleton Cooperative is subsidized by funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 housing program.

Agents who manage Section 8 properties are required to give preference to applicants who are homeless or live in substandard housing and pay more than half their income for rent.

Pub Date: 3/27/98

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