Last week the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland announced the sentencing of the third and final co-conspirator in its corruption investigation in Prince George’s County. Lt. Col. Karl Granzow Jr. of the Prince George’s County Fire Department (now retired) plead guilty to extortion and income tax evasion.
A federal judge sentenced Granzow to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for his part in in a conspiracy to bribe local officials to gain permits and approval for a development project Greenbelt Metro Park, for which he had a financial stake.
Granzow’s co-conspirators developers Patrick Ricker and Daniel Colton plead guilty last year and await sentencing. Ricker was involved in the larger federal probe into former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson, who pleaded guilty to extortion.
Left unreported in the case is the fact that Dana Stebbins, a member of the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley, was a consultant to Ricker and Colton. According to the website for Stebbins consulting firm, The Cornelius Group, Stebbins “lead efforts to bring on line Prince Georges County's first Smart Growth/ “Mass Transit Oriented” development project at a multi-modal transit site located at the Greenbelt Metro Station.”
Again, according to the firm’s website The Cornelius Group provides “legislative advocacy, economic development consulting services, strategic planning, and community outreach and training services to a broad array of local, regional, and national clients.” [emphasis mine].
This begs the question what was the nature of the services Stebbins’ firm provided to Ricker and Colton on the Greenbelt project? Worth a look eh Washington Post and Baltimore Sun…?
Stebbins is a highly connected Democrat serving in the Carter administration and as a staffer for Democratic leadership on the House Small Business Committee. Federal and state campaign databases show Stebbins is a prolific donor to Maryland Democrats.