Documents Sought From Md. Governor
By Charles Babington
Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening's office has received a subpoena to turn over any documents that might aid a criminal investigation of Larry Young, the former state senator who was expelled last month because of ethics charges, gubernatorial aides said last night.
Andrea Leahy-Fucheck, the administration's legal counsel, said the request from a state grand jury was "pretty routine and expected." Investigators working with State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli want "anything that's helpful in the investigation of Larry Young," she said. "We'll give them everything that would be in the governor's office."
There is no evidence that any individual other than Young is the target of the investigation, but the subpoena marks the first time that the wide-ranging probe has reached the second floor of the Maryland State House, where the governor and his closest aides have their offices.
Some of Glendening's aides made what one has described as "extraordinary" efforts to assist a health care company supported by Young, but they said nothing was improper. Investigators already have subpoenaed records from the state health department.
Montanarelli's office would not comment on the new subpoena. State government officials said his investigators want to know whether Young violated any criminal statutes when he obtained lucrative contracts and grants from several companies and agencies seeking state support. The Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics concluded last month that many of the payments amounted to illegal gifts, disguised as fees, because Young had produced so little work in return.
On Jan. 16, Young became the first senator in Maryland history to be expelled by his peers on ethics charges. The Baltimore Democrat had been a strong supporter of Glendening (D), and he helped arrange an early endorsement of Glendening's reelection bid by Baltimore senators. Young has denied any wrongdoing and characterized the payments as proper reimbursement for consulting services.
Leahy-Fucheck said the subpoena, delivered this week, was directed to "the governor's office" and not to any individual. She said the office has not received subpoenas from a federal grand jury that is conducting its own investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing by Young.
She declined to discuss details of the subpoena, including the types of records or documents being sought. "The governor has directed all agencies, everyone, to fully cooperate with this investigation," she said.
Glendening administration officials who had dealings with Young said the former senator was an aggressive promoter of various causes important to African American legislators.
For example, Young and other legislators pressed the administration on behalf of PrimeHealth Corp., a Prince George's County company that also has been subpoenaed in the Young investigation. With the administration's help, PrimeHealth was able to qualify to take care of Medicaid enrollees under a new state program to shift such patients into managed-care organizations. PrimeHealth also contributed money to a religious event organized by Young.
"I don't think it was improper for the state to be concerned about helping a minority provider," an administration official said.
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