Thomas L. Bromwell

Thomas L. Bromwell (Sun photo by Lloyd Fox / January 22, 2003)

Sept 3, 2003: The first published reports appear that the FBI is investigating former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell and his connection to Poole and Kent Co., a Baltimore mechanical contracting firm that participated in high-profile state projects, including the city's M&T Bank football stadium and its $41 million juvenile justice center.

Sept. 4, 2003: The Sun reports that Poole and Kent installed plumbing and ventilation systems in Bromwell's half-million-dollar Baltimore County home.

Sept. 5, 2003: The Sun reports that a minority-owned subcontractor for Poole and Kent employed Bromwell's wife. Documents showed that Namco Services Inc., where Mary Pat Bromwell was a salaried employee in 2001-2002, was paid $580,000 for work on the juvenile justice center.

April 26, 2004: Poole and Kent is notified that the firm is the subject of a federal investigation. A Securities and Exchange Commission report says subpoenas were issued for company records and other records were requested from the General Assembly.

Sept. 6, 2005: Michael C. Forti, a former executive with Poole and Kent, secretly pleads guilty to an illegal scheme to obtain minority contracts worth nearly $5 million through his wife's company. He and his wife, Geraldine, also plead guilty to tax evasion for not reporting free labor they received from Poole and Kent employees who built the couple a waterfront home. According to court documents, W. David Stoffregen, Poole and Kent's former president and a close friend of Bromwell, used Namco as a phony front to keep Poole and Kent eligible for contracts requiring participation from minority- and female-owned businesses.

Oct. 19, 2005: In a 30-count indictment, the Bromwells and Stoffregen are charged with conspiracy, racketeering, mail fraud and extortion. The former senator is also charged with wire fraud, making a false statement to FBI agents and filing false tax returns.