- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, who is embroiled in a public corruption scandal, has agreed to step down as head of the Injured Workers Insurance Fund (IWIF), the group’s board of directors announced yesterday.

Mr. Bromwell, Baltimore County Democrat, and his wife, Mary Patricia, are scheduled to go to trial March 5 on federal charges of racketeering, fraud and extortion stemming from his tenure in the state Senate in the 1990s and early 2000s.

He has been the IWIF’s president and chief executive officer since 2002 and will leave office by the end of the year.

IWIF officials said yesterday that Mr. Bromwell, 57, will receive his $200,000 annual salary for two more years and health benefits for 18 months.

“The board expresses its sincere appreciation to Thomas Bromwell for his exceptional leadership … and wishes him a successful outcome of his trial, which we recognize will require his undivided attention,” said IWIF Chairman Daniel E. McKew.

Mr. McKew will serve as the chief executive until a permanent leader is named for the organization, which is Maryland’s largest provider of workers compensation insurance.

The Bromwells have pleaded not guilty. Six other persons have pleaded guilty in the case, most recently the president of a mechanical contracting firm who is a key figure in the scandal.

W. David Stoffregen, president of Poole and Kent Co., pleaded guilty Nov. 28 to charges of racketeering, mail fraud and filing a false tax return.

Stoffregen, 53, was charged last year with the Bromwells in a sweeping 30-count federal indictment.

The Bromwells and Stoffregen were indicted in October 2005 after a probe lasting more than two years into the former senator’s relationship with Stoffregen while he was employed by Poole and Kent during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The firm won millions of dollars in state contracts while Mr. Bromwell was in office.

Federal prosecutors have said the arrangement generated so much money that Stoffregen offered Mr. Bromwell $80,000 a year in 2000 to stay in office rather than retire.

Mr. Bromwell received more than $85,000 in construction work on a new house in 2000 and 2001 that Stoffregen provided free of charge, prosecutors have said.

Stoffregen also gave Mrs. Bromwell more than $192,000 from 2001 to 2003 for a no-show job at Namco Services Corp., prosecutors said.

Also, prosecutors said, Mr. Bromwell agreed to remain in the state Senate in exchange for the payments that were disguised as Namco salary payments to his wife.

Mr. Bromwell spent four years as a member of the House of Delegates before serving in the Senate for 19 years.

He was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1995 until he left the General Assembly in 2002.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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