A project manager for a Baltimore construction company pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to lying to investigators about discounted work done for Thomas L. Bromwell Sr. at the former state senator's home.
David M. Jackman, 49, appeared in U.S. District Court before Judge J. Frederick Motz. He could receive up to five years in prison for making a false statement.
The plea gives prosecutors more firepower in their case against Bromwell, accused last week in a 30-count corruption indictment of steering millions of dollars in building contracts to the construction firm of Poole and Kent.
In exchange for yesterday's plea to a single charge, Jackman agreed to help prosecutors in their case against Bromwell.
According to the plea agreement, Jackman admitted 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 Ravenridge Road home in 2000 and 2001.
The former Democratic state senator from Baltimore County and his wife, Mary Patricia, who is also charged, are set to appear in court for the first time Monday. Bromwell is president and chief executive officer of the Maryland Injured Worker's Insurance Fund, a quasi-public agency.
Also indicted was W. David Stoffregen, the former president of Poole and Kent Co., a large plumbing and steamfitting contractor based in Baltimore. Stoffregen is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday.
Jackman's attorney, Charles Bernstein, said his client did not profit from the scheme outlined in the indictment. "He is loyal to a fault," Bernstein said.
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 almost $300,000 from Stoffregen over five years in the form of discounted home construction work and a salary to Mary Pat Bromwell for a no-show job at Namco, a "front" company that posed as a female-owned subcontractor. It was really 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, according to the indictment.
Bromwell is also accused of pressuring high-ranking officials at the University of Maryland Medical System to bypass the lowest bid on a job and award a $13 million contract to Poole and Kent.
Jackman was fired from his position at Poole and Kent after appearing in court yesterday.
"David Jackman's employment has been terminated today as a result of actions that violated both company policy and federal law," according to a statement released by the company. "Although David Jackman was an excellent project manager who served Poole & Kent's clients well, there are no exceptions to corporate policy in this area."
For archived coverage of the public corruption case against former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, go to baltimoresun.com/bromwell