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.


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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