6-month term in Bromwell case

Supporting player's lies to investigators noted by judge

November 28, 2007|By Matthew Dolan | Matthew Dolan,Sun reporter

A federal judge handed down a relatively harsh sentence yesterday against one of the supporting players in the bribery case against former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell Sr., saying that the crime of lying to investigators warranted six months in prison.

David M. Jackman, 51, a former project manager for a Baltimore construction company who had pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to investigators about discounted work done at Bromwell's Baltimore County home, received the prison time plus three years of probation in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin argued for the prison time, saying that Jackman lied between 2003 and 2005 about billing for the construction at the home of the Baltimore County Democrat. That caused the investigation to be delayed, she said, and required "the vast expenditure of government resources" to bring more than 30 additional witnesses before the grand jury.

Their testimony, Gavin argued, would have been largely unnecessary had Jackman provided a truthful accounting of his activities when he spoke to the FBI in 2003.

Recommended federal sentencing guidelines called for a prison sentence of six to 12 months for Jackman. Judge J. Frederick Motz said in court that he could have imposed a higher sentence. But, the judge said, he did not want to because Bromwell's wife, Mary Patricia, received a sentence of one year and one day for her role in the bribery scheme, and their crimes were too different.

Still, Jackman's prison term contrasted with Motz's sentence for James Eick, who received six months of home confinement. Eick, a former downtown Baltimore property manager who wore a wire while meeting with Bromwell to capture details about how the two rigged bids, steered contracts and collected kickbacks for overpriced construction in a separate scheme, also failed to tell federal investigators that he tipped off Bromwell about the FBI probe.

According to his plea agreement, Jackman admitted that he lied to FBI agents when he said that he had planned to bill Bromwell for $85,000 worth of construction work done on the Bromwells' Ravenridge Road home in 2000 and 2001.

The former state senator and his wife pleaded guilty and were sentenced this month. Bromwell, who also served as the chief executive officer of the state's largest insurance fund for injured workers, received a seven-year prison sentence.

Earlier this week, W. David Stoffregen, the former president of Poole and Kent Co., a large plumbing and steam-fitting contractor based in Baltimore, received 6 1/2 years behind bars for his role in bribing Bromwell.

Court papers say that Jackman, in October 2001 and November 2002, belatedly prepared two invoices at Stoffregen's request. According to the indictment against Bromwell, Stoffregen intended the construction work as a gift for Bromwell and billed the state senator only after questions were raised about the propriety.

The Bromwells are accused in the indictment of taking more than $200,000 from Stoffregen over five years in the form of discounted home construction work and a salary to Mary Patricia Bromwell for a no-show job at Namco, a "front" company that posed as a female-owned subcontractor.

It was operated by Poole and Kent, prosecutors contend. In return, according to the court papers, Thomas Bromwell intervened on behalf of Poole and Kent in contract negotiations for work at a state juvenile detention center and elsewhere, the indictment says.

matthew.dolan@baltsun.com

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