- Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Two of the remaining six defendants in the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission corruption case could see the charges against them dropped if a judge allows them to enter a diversion program.

Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to consider whether Dennis Miller and Jeffrey Suzenski should be admitted to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.

Lawyers for Miller, a former executive for a turnpike vendor, and Suzenski, a business consultant to another vendor, say prosecutors are expected to recommend the action. The attorney general’s office declined to comment about the matter Monday.

Under the program, which is designed for first-time offenders, the charges against the two men would be dropped if they complete two years of probation without problems.

Miller, 53, of Harrisburg, and Suzenski, 64, of Pottstown, are both charged with restricted activities. Miller also is charged with bid-rigging and conspiracy.

The diversion program is “a good way to let these guys get on with their lives,” said Mark Sheppard, Miller’s attorney.

Originally, eight people were charged in the alleged pay-to-play scandal, in which prosecutors charge that vendors gave lavish gifts and large campaign contributions while a group of former state officials used their power over multimillion-dollar contracts to enrich themselves, rig bids for business friends and influence political campaigns.

Among those awaiting trial are former state Sen. Robert Mellow, who earlier this year completed a federal prison sentence for an unrelated corruption conviction; Joseph Brimmeier, the turnpike commission’s ex-CEO; Mitchell Rubin, a former commission chairman; and George Hatalowich, a former chief operating officer at the agency.

Two other men charged in the case - former turnpike employees Raymond Zajicek and Melvin Shelton - pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges that included theft and unauthorized use of a state vehicle. Both were sentenced to probation.

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