2 indicted in school bribery

April 28, 2006

Two more people have been indicted as part of the Maryland state prosecutor's probe into allegations of corruption and bribery in the Baltimore school system's facilities and maintenance department.

David J. Clemons, 59, of Bel Air and Harriet E. Fostervold, 55, of Owings Mills are accused of bribing Rajiv Dixit, a former schools facilities manager who is now serving a five-year prison sentence, according to the state prosecutor's office. Dixit has admitted participating in two schemes to steal millions from the city schools, including by submitting inflated boiler-repair invoices.

The indictments are the 10th and 11th in the investigation. Nine people have been convicted, including a retired city police officer who pleaded guilty last month in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to filing false state tax returns, according to state prosecutors.

Clemons - who owns Polar Bear Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. - faces charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Fostervold, who works for Siemens Building Technologies Inc., is charged with bribery, theft, and conspiring to steal more than $500 from the city schools, prosecutors said.

"While the present cases may not be as significant as some of the other cases previously prosecuted, there is no case that is insignificant when it involves the public school children in Baltimore," State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh said in a statement. He said the investigation was continuing.

A lawyer for Fostervold denounced the indictment yesterday. "Ms. Fostervold is innocent. The state should not have brought this case," said attorney Larry Nathans. "One minute they admit their witness is untruthful, and the next minute they base their case upon his uncorroborated word."

Clemons could not be reached for comment. Clemons and Fostervold are to be arraigned June 2.

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