NM Prison Official Pleads Guilty To Bribery

New Mexico – A former Corrections Department official has pleaded guilty to federal charges for accepting $237,000 in bribes in exchange for selecting a contractor for roofing projects.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales announced Thursday that Laurie Chapman had entered a guilty plea in federal court to a 30-count indictment of soliciting and accepting bribes from Santa Fe-based Omni Development Corp.

Chapman was the department's facilities manager from 1999 through May 2010, and was responsible for selecting companies to do maintenance and construction work on prison system buildings.

Prosecutors said Chapman accepted bribes from 2007 through August 2009 in exchange for awarding $4 million in roofing contracts to Omni.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled but Chapman faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each of the 30 offenses.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.