Ex-County Official Gets 21/2 Years for Bribery; $250,000 Scheme to Award Contract Too Damaging to Avoid Prison Time, Judge Says
Post, 12 May 2007 (Castaneda).
A former high-ranking Prince George's County official who was convicted of scheming to shake down a company for $250,000 in return for a government contract was sentenced yesterday to 2 1/2 years in state prison.
Circuit Court Judge Thomas P. Smith told Robert L. Thomas that he wished he could fashion a sentence that didn't involve prison time, because of Thomas's age and recent health problems.But, Smith said, Thomas, 64, had caused too much damage to be allowed to go free.
[* * *]
Saying "a message must be sent," Smith sentenced Thomas to 12 years in prison and suspended all but 30 months. Smith also ordered Thomas to remain on supervised probation for five years after his release, to put in 500 hours of community service and to pay restitution of $10,000 -- the amount prosecutors said he pocketed before being arrested.