Former Prince George's County park chief Hugh Robey, who was indicted last week on state theft charges, was a director of a small welding company that was awarded park contracts in violation of agency ethics rules, according to law enforcement sources.
Robey, 59, of Bowie, served as a director of G&M Hitech Metal Specialty Inc., a company owned by his son, Michael, sources said. The firm was awarded several small park contracts to weld metal hinges onto picnic tables.
Both Robey, a 40-year employee of the Prince George's County branch of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and his son were indicted last week in what authorities described as a complex theft and cover-up plot.
The indictment, which also names another senior park official and two park commission contractors, charges that the Robeys used the welding company in 1988 to steal nearly $30,000 in agency funds.
The indictment charges that Hugh Robey stole the money by issuing a contract for construction of a greenhouse at the Randall's Farm horticulture center in Upper Marlboro that was never built. When the theft was discovered, the indictment charges that Robey solicited a $30,000 bribe from another contractor to try to cover up the misuse of park money.
Hugh and Michael Robey surrendered to authorities Friday along with a contractor, Richard Coleman. Another park official, Albert Simons, a Robey deputy, surrendered yesterday. Authorities said they have been unable to find Junia Edward Dailey, a District of Columbia painter and park commission contractor charged in the case.
Law enforcement sources said the investigation is continuing and has branched into allegations that park officials routinely used agency personnel and equipment for their personal benefit.
Robey's attorney, Joshua Treem, declined to comment yesterday.
The sources said that Robey, a $110,000-a-year park employee, listed himself as a director of G&M in 1985 when the Frederick-based company filed for incorporation.
The commission's ethics policy prohibits the agency from entering into contracts with companies in which officials or their relatives have a financial interest or serve as directors or officers.
A commission spokeswoman, Andrea Davey, said the work done by G&M totaled about $3,000. Davey, however, declined to comment on the specifics of the agency's dealings with G&M. But law enforcement sources said the amount may be higher than agency records reflect.
When G&M ran into financial trouble in 1988, according to law enforcement sources, Robey brought his son onto the agency payroll as a $28,000-a-year welder. He also has a daughter, another son and a nephew on the park commission payroll.
Robey, who originally announced he would retire in July, stayed on the job as acting park director until last week. The job has been temporarily filled by Deputy County Administrator Mary Godfrey.Staff writer Paul Duggan contributed to this report.