- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Maryland has charged a fifth woman, fired by the state government, with bribery in a case involving Stone Cold Chemical, a company facing investigations in several states.

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. yesterday announced that charges of bribery and theft were filed in Prince George’s County Circuit Court against Lucinda Nasario-Easley, 29, of Largo.

Like the other four ex-employees, Mrs. Nasario-Easley is accused of paying excessive prices on state credit cards for janitorial and cleaning goods from Stone Cold Chemical for use in Maryland properties.

A legislative audit last August, which set off the Maryland investigation, uncovered overcharges for items, like $28.50 for a can of bug spray, $26.99 for vehicle-window de-icers, and $125 for a box of damp cleaning tissues. Some employees used state credit cards to buy items that were priced 28 times higher than retail.

Between July 2001 and September 2002, Mrs. Nasario-Easley received gift certificates from Stone Cold for Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Six Flags Amusement Parks, Sears and Circuit City, according to the criminal information.

She also is charged with stealing more than $500 worth of automobile tires and parts and three HP ink cartridges from the state highway’s maintenance facility in Upper Marlboro, where she was employed. If convicted, Mrs. Nasario-Easley could be sentenced to two to 12 years in prison for bribery and 15 years for felony theft.

“There are more who are likely to be charged, but we are nearing the end,” said Kevin Enright, spokesman for Mr. Curran.

Similar investigations are under way in other states where public employees did business with Stone Cold, headquartered in Florida and Georgia.

Florida officials speculated that Stone Cold telemarketers may have bribed as many as 2,000 employees across the country.

Other former Maryland employees facing charges:

• Vivian McLean Odom, 45, of Baltimore, an employee of a prison prerelease unit for 12 years.

• Chrissy L. Martin, 27, of Knoxville, an administrative shop technician for five years at the State Highway Administration’s Dayton facility in Howard County.

• Linda Simms, of Waldorf, a procurement officer at the highway department’s maintenance facility in La Plata.

• Esther Coombs, 39, of Brooklyn, authorized to procure janitorial and maintenance supplies for the highway facility in Annapolis.

On Feb. 5, Maryland’s Board of Public Works banned Stone Cold Chemical from doing business with any public body or government in the state.


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