State Digest

STATE DIGEST

December 22, 2006

Bromwell trial delayed a month

The federal public corruption trial of former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell has been delayed by about a month, prosecutors announced yesterday.

The Baltimore County Democrat and his wife, Mary Pat Bromwell, were charged more than a year ago in a wide-ranging racketeering indictment that accused the couple of trading on the former senator's influence for kickbacks paid to his wife for a no-show job and discounted construction work done on the couple's home. Each of the Bromwells has pleaded not guilty.

The trial, which was scheduled to begin in February in front of U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz in Baltimore, is expected to last up to three months.

Late last month, W. David Stoffregen, the former president of the construction company Poole and Kent, pleaded guilty in the case. Stoffregen admitted in court papers that he funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bromwell, who once led one of the legislature's most influential committees, to secure the politician's help in securing municipal and state contracts.

Federal prosecutors have accused Bromwell of steering millions of dollars in building contracts to Poole and Kent at Stoffregen's request. In return, the prosecutors allege, Bromwell's wife was paid a salary for a fake job at a woman-owned subcontractor controlled by Stoffregen.

Matthew Dolan

Anne Arundel: Crownsville

Teen sentenced in fatal Wyoming snowboard accident

A Maryland teenager was sentenced to a year in jail in Jackson, Wyo., with half of that suspended, for a snowboarding crash in which he killed a skier from Massachusetts.

Greg Doda, 18, of Crownsville was sentenced this week, about five months after he pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, a misdemeanor.

On Feb. 24, 2004, Doda was snowboarding at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort when he careened into Heather Donahue, 29, of Shrewsbury, Mass. Authorities said that their investigation, including reviewing a video of the crash, determined Doda probably was going more than 45 mph when he ran into Donahue, who had stopped to wait for her husband. She died of head injuries.

Teton County Circuit Judge Timothy Day rejected a request from Donahue's family that Doda be required to spend the full year in prison. However, he said it's important that Doda spend time in jail "to impart upon you in some degree that emptiness that Heather Donahue's family feels every day."

"This nightmare was no mistake," Day said. "It's absolutely clear you were going way too fast, period."

Day also sentenced Doda to a year of probation; fined him about $4,000, of which $2,000 must go to a charity at Tufts University, where Donahue attended veterinary school; and ordered him to complete 240 hours of community service, of which 80 must be spent working at a facility that cares for animals. Day also ordered Doda to write an article about the crash and about snowboarding safety for a national magazine.

Associated Press

Baltimore: Identity theft

Woman accused of fraud to gain entry to prison

A 29-year-old woman allegedly forged documents and assumed the identity of an Annapolis attorney, apparently for the sole purpose of having sex with an inmate at a Baltimore prison, police said.

"It was an elaborate scheme," said Maj. Priscilla Doggett, a spokeswoman for the prison system. "I'm not aware of something like this ever occurring before."

Police charged Tiffany Gwen Weaver of Reisterstown with seven counts, including forgery, fraud and false use of government identification. She faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

On Nov. 13, police allege, a woman appeared at the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center, claiming to be an attorney for inmate Jason Moody, who is serving 30 years for manslaughter. She had a Maryland State Bar Association security identification pass with photo, identifying her as Amanda Sprehn of the Annapolis law firm Hyatt, Peters & Weber. She also gave jail officials a business card with Sprehn's name.

Once alone with Moody, the police allege, the two began engaging in sexual intercourse. Corrections officials observed their behavior and cut the visit short.

Associated Press

Statewide: Gang prevention

Ehrlich announces grants for gang intervention

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announced yesterday $750,000 in grants for statewide gang prevention, intervention and suppression initiatives. The funds will be administered by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the U.S. attorney's office.

"Gang activity is a growing public safety threat in our state," Ehrlich said in a statement. "We appreciate the federal government's support and are confident that this partnership goes a long way to strengthening our efforts to eliminate gang crime and violence in Maryland."

The governor's announcement came a day after the U.S. attorney's office awarded $1.5 million in anti-gang grants to local jurisdictions and organizations in Maryland. Authorities also announced the creation of a statewide law enforcement database called Gang-Net, which will allow local, state and federal law enforcement officials to share data on gang activities.

Sun staff

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