One of the top park and recreation officials in Prince George's County was indicted on theft and conspiracy charges last week in an alleged contract fraud scheme that already has led to indictments of former park director Hugh B. "Reds" Robey and four other men.
Richard C. Stevenson, one of the four highest-ranking employees of the Prince George's arm of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, was indicted Thursday in an alleged scheme to defraud the agency of nearly $30,000. The Maryland State Prosecutor's Office said it chose not to announce the indictment at the time while waiting for Stevenson to follow through on an arrangement to surrender, which he did yesterday.
Stevenson, 56, of Laurel, is a 22-year employee of the park commission. He was placed on administrative leave Monday from his $90,940-a-year position as chief of land acquisition, planning and maintenance for public parks, golf courses, swimming pools and other facilities, commission spokewoman Andrea Davey said. Under commission rules, Davey said, Stevenson will continue to be paid for 30 days.
Assistant State Prosecutor Thomas Krehely said Stevenson surrendered yesterday to Maryland State Police in College Park. He was jailed for a few hours in the Prince George's Correctional Center before being released on his own recognizance by a judge, jail spokeswoman Saida Burnett said.
He was charged with felony theft, conspiracy to commit felony theft and conspiracy to violate Maryland bribery laws.
Stevenson could not be reached for comment yesterday.
With Robey's resignation as park director in Prince George's after his November indictment, Stevenson became the bi-county commission's highest-paid employee in Prince George's. Mary Godfrey, filling in as director until a replacement for Robey is hired, is a top aide to County Executive Parris Glendening and is paid by the county government. The commission's two other associate directors in Prince George's are paid $82,000 a year.
Krehely said Stevenson is accused of being part of a contract fraud scheme that also allegedly involved Robey; Albert Simons, who was a Stevenson deputy; Robey's son, Michael, a commission employee and former agency contractor; Richard Coleman, the commission's primary paving contractor in Prince George's; and another contractor, Junia Edward Dailey.
The Robeys, Simons, Coleman and Dailey were indicted on theft, bribery, conspiracy and other charges Nov. 1. They are scheduled to go on trial together, along with Stevenson, in April.
In August 1988, sources said, Hugh Robey allegedly arranged for the commission to pay Dailey's company $29,232 to build a greenhouse, a job that Dailey's company never undertook. Prosecutor Krehely declined yesterday to specify Stevenson's alleged role in the payment to Dailey.
Stevenson was Albert Simons's boss. Simons, whose division oversaw the facility where the greenhouse was to be built, allegedly authorized the issuing of a check to Dailey's company, sources said.