Young turns himself in to State Police Former legislator is released on own recognizance

He avoids media crush

Troopers deny extraordinary effort was made for him

December 17, 1998|By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Scott Higham | Walter F. Roche Jr. and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Andrea F. Siegel and Tom Pelton contributed to this article.

Avoiding an expected crush of reporters and cameras, former State Sen. Larry Young quietly turned himself in late yesterday afternoon to State Police in Annapolis, where he was arrested and handcuffed and taken by troopers to his first court appearance.

After a brief hearing, Young was released on his own recognizance after being indicted Monday on nine counts of bribery, extortion and tax fraud. He said nothing as he walked away from the District Court, accompanied by his attorney, Gregg L. Bernstein.

Young was initially scheduled to surrender this morning at the State Police barracks in Annapolis, an event that would have been recorded by a small army of reporters and TV camera crews. State Police officers had made plans to cordon off an area near the barracks to control the expected crowd.

Instead, Young surrendered yesterday at 4 p.m. He was booked, fingerprinted, photographed, handcuffed, placed in a police .

cruiser and driven to the courthouse. By the time the first reporters arrived on the scene, Young and his attorney were leaving the building.

"We called the State Police, and we said that we understand that a warrant has been issued, and the senator has some personal business that he needs to attend to tomorrow," Bernstein said. "They said, 'If he wants to turn himself today, bring him in.' That's what we did."

State Police Lt. Donald Knott said nothing extraordinary was done to accommodate Young.

"No special arrangements have been made," he said. He would neither confirm nor deny that Young had been scheduled to surrender at 10 o'clock this morning.

"He just walked into the barracks and said he wanted to take care of this," Knott said. "He wanted to turn himself in, and we were glad to accommodate him. He was very cooperative."

State Police spokesman Capt. Gregory Shipley said his agency is under no obligation to tell the public when a person who is wanted on an arrest warrant plans to surrender.

"We don't broadcast that information. We don't make it a media event," Shipley said. "The intent is to have people turn themselves in, and have the charging documents served on them."

Though State Police officers insisted that Young was not afforded special treatment, those familiar with the case said the former senator's processing was arranged by State Police Capt. Steven Moyer, the head of internal affairs, the unit that investigates wrongdoing within the ranks of the agency.

Asked why the chief of internal affairs would be handling a warrant, Shipley said: "I have no idea. We can all make arrests. That certainly could have happened."

Messages left with Moyer were not returned last night.

Young, once one of Maryland's most powerful politicians before his expulsion in January, was charged Monday in a nine-count bribery and extortion indictment, accused of using his office to shake down a pair of minority-owned health care companies for more than $72,000.

The indictment accuses Young of extorting the money from officers of PrimeHealth Corp., a Lanham-based health care firm, and a closely affiliated radiology company, Diagnostic Health Imaging Systems. It also says that Young and a former aide received a series of payments from the two firms.

Prosecutors allege that Young received the payments in 1995 and 1996 "for the purpose of influencing him in the performance of his official duties." If convicted, Young could face a maximum 98-year prison term and $40,000 in fines.

The former senator has denied the allegations, and his attorney said his client would fight the charges at a trial, which has yet to be scheduled.

Pub Date: 12/17/98

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