Figure in Bromwell case gets jail time

December 06, 2007|By MATTHEW DOLAN

Another defendant charged as part of the federal investigation of former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell received prison time yesterday after a federal judge sentenced the former president of a heating-and-cooling-system company to six months behind bars.

James B. Digman Sr., 63, of Forest Hill, who was president of Regional Air Systems, a Maryland sheet-metal company, pleaded guilty in January to lying before a federal grand jury about a duplicate invoice he prepared for Bromwell to try to throw off investigators. Bromwell, a Baltimore County Democrat, received a seven-year prison term after admitting that he accepted bribes from the former top executive at Poole and Kent, a Baltimore-based construction company.

Poole and Kent controlled Regional Air, according to court papers. In early 2001, a Poole and Kent official instructed Regional Air to install ductwork in the Bromwells' home, court papers show. As was its practice with Digman, Poole and Kent paid the bill, prosecutors said. The next year, after learning that law enforcement was investigating Bromwell, a Poole and Kent official told Digman to create a second invoice for the work done on the senator's residence.

This time, he was told to send the invoice to Bromwell and to reduce the amount charged by half, according to court papers filed as part of Digman's guilty plea. Digman later testified before a federal grand jury investigating the work but falsely claimed that he never billed Poole and Kent directly for the work.

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