A Prince George's County grand jury has reported that allegations that State Del. Francis J. Santangelo (D-Prince George's) used his office illegally in trying to win contracts for a "big band" promotion company were unfounded.
The report also indirectly criticized Maryland State Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs for asking for a grand jury investigation and then apparently failing to follow through. It was the second time in a month that Sachs was criticized for his activity in grand jury investigations.
The grand jury was investigating allegations that Santangelo tried to land state contracts for Dana Promotions Inc., which has received annual contracts since 1977 to stage up to nine dances a year at the state-run Ocean City Convention Hall.
Santangelo had allegedly tried to win the contract for Dana in 1976 by asking an aide to then-Gov. Marvin Mandel and a state senator from Eastern Shore to use their influence with members of the state commission responsible for awarding the business.
While finding the allegations unfounded, the report said the attorney general's office had asked for the investigation in April but had made "little effort to follow through and made "little contact" with the grand jury after the middle of May.
Sachs, who heads the office, was not named in the report; sources said the grand jury was unhappy with his office as well as publicity resulting from a story in The Washington Post that reported the probe in June.
The grand jury said it was "highly disturbed at the person who leaked the information to the press since more detailed information was furnished to the news media than to the body charged with conducting the investigation."
Last month, Sachs was criticized for hiring an informant to infiltrate the Anne Arundel County Public Defender's Office for a grand jury investigation.