Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just how big was Bromwell’s break?

State Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, who admitted dealing in favors, got a six-month break on the start date of his 7-year prison term. But lawyers for Bromwell and his wife, Mary Patricia (who faces her own year-and-a-day term), say it’s a matter of special circumstances, not special treatment, since the couple’s two youngest children are just 11 and 14 years old.

Even Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who prosecuted the case, agreed that such an allowance for parents of small children who are sentenced to incarceration at the same time is not unprecedented.

“It happens,” she said after the Bromwells broached the idea in court Nov. 16.

William B. Purpura, Mrs. Bromwell’s attorney, said sentences have been staggered in cases with similar facts in other federal districts and in state courts. He said even business partners have been allowed to serve their sentences roughly consecutively.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to say people involved in white collar crimes get this break and those involved in drug crimes don’t,” said Herbert Better, a former assistant U.S. attorney and now at the Baltimore office of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.

What do you think?

-BRENDAN KEARNEY, Legal Affairs Writer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tommy and Mary Pat both got off easy, especially when one considers the harm done to Maryland taxpayers, procurement, contractors, and the legislature. I'm sure Tommy will have a great new career as a lobbyist in coming years.