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Two defendants arraigned in Turnpike "pay to play" scheme

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 14, 2013 1:34 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Two more defendants who are charged in cases involving their work at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission have been arraigned.

Pennsylvania-Turnpike.jpg

Former Turnpike Commission Chief Executive Joseph Brimmeier and former Commission employee Melvin Shelton showed up today at a suburban Harrisburg district judge's office to hear the charges against them.

Both were released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

Eight defendants were charged yesterday. Most of the charges relate to what state prosecutors call a "pay to play'' scheme for contract-hungry vendors.

Brimmeier allegedly helped ensure turnpike contracts were awarded to vendors who gave money to Democratic candidates. The grand jury says Shelton held himself out to be a labor relations specialist but acted more like a Democratic Party functionary.

Shelton declined comment. Brimmeier's lawyer says his client will be exonerated in court.

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