ANNAPOLIS – Maryland’s Board of Public Works Wednesday banned nine men from working for the state in connection with a complex web of bribery charges involving the Baltimore Housing Authority.
The men are all housing authority employees or contractors from the Baltimore area. Their names, relationships and penalties, are:
* Timothy Lanocha and William W. Lanocha Jr., banned for four years. The Lanochas, respectively president and vice president of Lanocha Construction Inc., pleaded guilty to charges that they made false statements to a grand jury in February 1994. They agreed to testify that they had paid a $1,400 bribe to John Dutkevich, then a project engineer for the Baltimore Housing Authority. Dutkevich later pleaded guilty to bribery charges in U.S. District Court.
* Dutkevich, banned permanently.
* George W. Green, banned permanently. The low-income housing construction inspector also pleaded guilty in February to taking bribes from Lanocha Construction.
* Michael Wilson of Classic Construction Inc., banned permanently for giving bribes to Dutkevich.
* Edward J. Simmons, housing authority construction chief, banned permanently. Simmons was convicted of taking $2,700 in bribes from Lanocha Construction.
* James M. Myers and Terry Myers of J&M Construction Co. Inc., banned permanently for bribing housing authority Agent Charles Morris.
* Morris, banned permanently. He was convicted in February for accepting about $5,000 in bribes from a private contractor who was not named in the board’s order.
“None of them applied to have a hearing,” R. Hartmann Roemer of the Attorney General’s anti-trust division, said of the nine men. “They all pled guilty.”
Despite the language of the order, all may petition the board to be reinstated in five years, Roemer said.
As Roemer told the board about the petitions, Gov. Parris N. Glendening said that “George Orwell would love us. A permanent debarment means five years, and life in prison means 11 years.”
Roemer said it was “not infrequent” to ban officials, a process known as debarment. The board bans about five to 10 people each year, he said.
Board members were concerned about whether these officials or companies merely could change their names in order to get state business.
“We’re fairly diligent in keeping up with those who had been debarred,” Roemer said.
Glendening suggested that the attorney general devise a way to track people who had been debarred. “I think we should look for a simple, inexpensive way to keep the listing electronically,” he said. -30-