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Bromwell to Plead Guilty

Former state senator Thomas L. Bromwell has agreed to plead guilty to federal racketeering and tax crimes, his attorney said last night, bringing a close to one of Maryland's largest corruption investigations in recent years.

The Baltimore County Democrat, once one of the most powerful figures in Annapolis, signed an agreement with prosecutors today and is expected to formally enter the plea Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Bromwell attorney Barry J. Pollack said. Mary Pat Bromwell, the senator's wife, who was also charged in the 2005 racketeering indictment, will plead guilty to one count of mail fraud, her attorney said.

"Mr. Bromwell has decided that it is best for him, his wife and his family to resolve this matter and to put it behind him," Pollack said. "He did make mistakes and is admitting he made them. At the same time, he has over many years of public service done some tremendous good for the people of Maryland."

The Bromwells were are the last known defendants in a long-running investigation that had already netted at least six guilty pleas, most from minor participants in schemes that centered on the senator's relationship with a prominent contractor. The agreement does not require the Bromwells to cooperate with authorities.

Prosecutors will ask Judge J. Frederick Motz to impose a sentence of 78 to 97 months for Bromwell, Pollack said. He plans to ask for a lesser sentence. Prosecutors will recommend that Mary Pat Bromwell receive between 24 and to 30 months, said her attorney, William Purpura. He plans to ask the judge to allow her to remain on home detention.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein declined to comment.

The indictment charged the Bromwells and W. David Stoffregen, a former president and chief executive for the construction firm Poole and Kent, in a years-long conspiracy. Stoffregen pleaded guilty in November and agreed to cooperate.

Bromwell, 58, a former tavern owner who rose to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was accused of performing a variety of official acts as a senator for Stoffregen's benefit. In exchange, it alleged, he allegedly received payments of almost $200,000, concealed as a salary paid to his wife for a no-show job, as well as free or steeply discounted work at their home.

In March, Motz made public transcripts of conversations involving Bromwell that had been secretly recorded by the FBI. In one such conversation, in 2001, Bromwell referred to himself as a "whore" in the state Senate for a Maryland racetrack owner, according to the transcripts.

Elsewhere in the transcripts, he is quoted bragging about his influence with Comcast, where his two sons were given jobs after he championed legislation that benefited the cable TV company. Bromwell , long known for his flamboyant manner, is also quoted as using offensive language about minorities and women, among others. Of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who attended a Bromwell fundraisers, he is quoted as saying, "I don't use the N-word, but he was an N."

After leaving the Senate, Bromwell took a job as the head of the Injured Workers' Insurance Fund, a state-created agency that is the largest carrier of workers' compensation insurance in Maryland. His compensation package, including benefits, was worth as much as $250,000 a year before he stepped down in December.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 20, 2007; 9:00 PM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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Comments

I'm surprised it took Bromwell so long to figure out he needed to plead guilty. He seems like a real sleazebag. I guess the only reason he is not required to co-operate is that he is the last domino to fall.

In blue states the dems are sleazy, and in red states the reps are sleazy. Ergo, all states are sleazy. Go Bloomberg! Ross Peerow and Admiral whatshisname, come back, all is forgiven.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | July 21, 2007 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Maryland Democrats: We Love the Culture of Corruption that we created.

Posted by: MD Dems | July 21, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

All the state legislators read this blog. How come they never post on any topic?

Posted by: Shy boys and girls | July 22, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The "S's" in state senator should be capitalized. It is an official position; or is Bush the president of the united states. "is" it the writer or the proof-reader? or is it simply poetic?

Posted by: George Samuels | July 23, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The "S's" in state senator should be capitalized. It is an official position; or is Bush the president of the united states. "is" it the writer or the proof-reader? or is it simply poetic?

Posted by: George Samuels | July 23, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I think that its just awful that people are never satisfied with what they have. He was in a position that he asked for and we (the voters) believed in him enough to put him there and this is how he thanks us?

The constant need for greed is amazing.

Posted by: Stevenson | July 24, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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