Due to an editing error in an article in yesterday's editions about the indictment of the president of the St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners gave the wrong title for Stephen Montanarelli. He is the Maryland state prosecutor.
The president of the St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners was indicted yesterday by a special grand jury on charges of bribery, income tax fraud and misconduct in office stemming from several real estate transactions in the fast-growing area of southern Maryland.
George R. Aud, 62, who surrendered to state police in the county seat of Leonardtown yesterday afternoon, was released on personal recognizance, according to the state prosecutor.
The former used-car dealer, popularly known as "Sporty George" because of his colorful personality and brilliantly colored wardrobe, refused through his lawyer to comment on the indictments.
The lawyer, George Sparling, said Aud expects to be acquitted of the charges and plans to remain in office and continue his campaign for reelection in November. Aud, a Democrat, has been a commissioner for almost two decades.
St. Mary's County State's Attorney Stephen Montanarelli said the indictments follow a 17-month investigation by his office and state troopers, as well as an eight-month investigation by a special Circuit Court grand jury convened in September. Montanarelli said the investigation of county officials is continuing.
The bribery indictment alleges that between 1978 and 1984 Aud received a parcel of land in a new subdivision from the developers of the 500-acre property overlooking the Patuxent River in Lexington Park. The indictment alleges that Aud was given the land as a bribe by developers Franklin Dean, who owns a lumber company in St. Mary's, and his brother Robert G. Dean, who runs a construction company. The indictment does not specify what the bribe was for.
Montanarelli said the land was worth "a considerable amount" and that Aud is building a house on it.
According to a second indictment alleging income tax fraud, Aud claimed a $21,485 deduction on his 1984 tax returns for land grading that was never done on property he subsequently sold to developer Edmund Wettengell for construction of the Veda building, a high-tech company's office in Lexington Park.
The indictment further alleges that Aud claimed a $13,085 deduction for painting work that was never done on rental property he owned.
Aud also was indicted for filing a falsely amended tax return and for perjury. The final indictment accuses Aud of misconduct in office, alleging he received a free trip to Dallas Dec. 7 through Dec. 9, 1984, to watch the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys. The trip was provided by Wettengell, the Veda building developer, who paid for the private jet that took Aud to the game and three days of meals and lodging, according to the indictment.
The indictment charges Aud with breaking a county law that forbids public officials to accept gifts, failing to report the gift on a disclosure form, and perjury for filing a false disclosure form.
It was one day after he returned from the Dallas trip that Aud completed the sale of the Veda property to Wettengell for $200,000 -- $194,500 more than he paid for it in 1969 -- according to county officials and records. The following day, after receiving clearance from the county ethics board, Aud voted in favor of tax-free financing for the building Wettengell wanted to build on the property, according to court records and county officials.
Aud's role in the Veda property vote was the subject of widespread controversy in St. Mary's, especially after the special grand jury issued about 200 subpoenas in the case.
Last month, the same grand jury indicted Joseph L. Guy, a general contractor in St. Mary's, on one count of perjury for allegedly telling the grand jury he had, in fact, done the grading work on Aud's property.