Elkton father, son charged with attempted bribery


A father and son from Elkton were arrested yesterday and charged with attempting to bribe a Cecil County commissioner in a rezoning matter.

Stephen Montanarelli, the state prosecutor, said the two men allegedly offered a "significant" amount of money to Commissioner W. Edwin Cole Jr. in July.

At the time of the alleged bribe, the men were seeking to have their farmland on Old Elk Neck Road re-zoned so they could operate a tire-recycling business, Mr. Montanarelli said.

John P. Martinuk, 71, and his son, Joseph P. Martinuk, 31, were arrested by State Police yesterday at George's Restaurant and Bar in Elkton.

Police executed a search warrant yesterday at George's, which the Martinuks own.

Mr. Montanarelli said authorities have investigated the allegations for three months.

He added that the probe is continuing.

Attempted bribery carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

Mr. Montanarelli said Mr. Cole, one of three members of the county's Board of Commissioners, cooperated with authorities after reporting the alleged bribery attempt.

"Commissioner Cole has obtained evidence of bribery under our direction and at great risk to his personal safety," Mr. Montanarelli said in a joint statement with county State's Attorney John L. Scarborough.

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