Former Maryland Jr., jailed on charges of embezzling state funds, school construction chief Alford R. (Skip) Carey returned to court here today to face additional charges of outright bribery.
Carey, once a politically powerful member of Gov. Marvin Mandel's inner circle, appeared in court today represented by the public defender's office, his personal finances drained to the point where he can no longer afford private counsel.
Since his release on parole last January, after serving one year of a three-year sentence, the one influential head of a billion dollar school construction program has worked at a Baltimore sporting goods store, while studying for a Ph.D. in special education, in an attempt to put back together the pieces of his shattered life.
He currently faces charges that he demanded and received $17,500 in bribes from a North Carolina company that received more than $4 million to build portable classrooms for Maryland schools.
That indictment was returned while Carey was in the midst of his three-year sentence for embezzling $22,000 in state funds.
A former president of the Maryland Junior Chamber of Commerce, Carey's career was marked by a rapid rise to positions of power and influence, culminating in his appointment to the school construction post in 1971 by Mandel.
According to documents introduced during his first trial, the embezzlements began almost at the day of his appointment, partly to support a flamboyent lifestyle that included flashy clothes, beautiful women, and a taste for expensive trips and cars.
When the embezzlements were uncovered in 1975, his fall was more abrupt than his rise. When he pleaded guilty in January, 1976, Carey was summarily dismissed by Mandel from his $32,000-a-year post. Mandel called Carey's actions "inexcusable."
In court today, Carey was accompanied by his public defender lawyer, T. Joseph Twohey, and two friends from his Jaycee days, who appeared in support of his bid to have the bribery indictments dismissed.
The indictments, Twohey contended, were all part of a "game plan of sequential indictments by the Attorney General's Office" in an effort to put pressure on Carey to "inculpate himself and others" in further criminal activity.
According to Twohey's contention, it was the plan of the prosecutors to keep indictments perpetually hanging over Carey "like a sword of Damocles" in an effort to force him to cooperate with ongoing investigations.
That argument was denied vigorously by Assistant Attorney General Robert Ozer, who said charges against Carey were prosecuted in a timely manner as evidence became available.
In the current indictment, Carey 44, is charged with 10 counts of receiving and demanding bribes "to influence" and to "neglect and fail to perform his official duties as executive director of the public school construction program of the state of Maryland.
Indicted with Carey were J. Owen Bishop, a Baltimore businessman, and John E. Hayward, a state-licensed building inspector. Bishop was one of two Maryland sales agents for Globe Industries, the bankrupt North Carolina company that was accused of supplying most of the bribe money for Carey. Hayward was the inspector who certified Globe's buildings in Maryland.
Bishop was charged with two counts of bribing Carey and four counts of aiding and abetting Carey's efforts to obtain money from Globe. Hayward was charged with nine counts of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to the grand jury about $3,900 in finder's fees and expenses paid to Hayward by Globe in May, 1973.
Hayward, 44, was convicted April 22 of two counts of perjury and two counts of obstruction of justice and faces sentencing Wednesday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. Bishop's trial is set for later this month.
According to the indictments, Carey, Bishop, and Hayward concocted a fairly simple scheme in which Carey awarded contracts to Globe in 1972 and 1973 in exchange for kickbacks from Hayward and Bishop and from George W. Hargis, Globe's other Maryland agent.
Hargis has been cooperating in the investigation and was not indicted.
The indictments allege a pattern of corruption that was first described in a series of articles published in March and April, 1975, in The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. Those articles resulted in a request by Attorney General Francis B. Burch for Gov. Mandel's permission to investigate the school construction program.
In addition to alleging sequential prosecution on the part of the Attorney General's Office, public defender Twohey contended that office orchestrated a campaign of harassment against Carey during the year of his imprisonment. Ozer responded that the Attorney General's office does not manage the prisons.
Lawyers said arguments of the pretrial motions probably will take two days with jury selection to begin later in the week, providing that the motions to dismiss are denied. The trial itself is expected to last about a week.