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Man charged with bribery later cleared

January 04, 2004|by

George W. Tingle, who was charged with bribery in connection with the slots debate in 1968, had gone from money and political power to rock bottom, according to a story that year in The Morning Herald.

After he was charged, Tingle admitted to then-Herald Managing Editor Arnold Miller in a telephone interview that he acted as an intermediary in the alleged $10,000 offer made to then-Sen. George E. Snyder.

Tingle, who was 61 at the time, refused to tell The Herald for whom he was making the offer, contending he was doing it as a "favor" for someone.

"I'm down at rock bottom" financially, said Tingle, who expected to get a kickback from the bribe.

Tingle was widely known in the Hagerstown area for his catering and restaurant businesses.

He owned the Savoy Restaurant in the old Maryland Hotel for more than 20 years before it was torn down in 1960, the Herald story said.

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His Swiss Cottage on Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown also was a popular eatery, but he said it lost $50,000 before it went out of business in April 1967.

He also made a name for himself in politics, serving as a member of the Washington County Commissioners, the House of Delegates and the Board of Elections.

Tingle also was treasurer in the first mayoral campaign of Winslow F. Burhans, who served from 1953 to 1965.

At the time of his arrest, he was working as a janitor at Winter Street School in Hagerstown.

In addition to Tingle, police arrested Charles L. "Jake" Rohrer, 50, a longtime employee of Mason-Dixon Vending Machine Service of Hagerstown. Rohrer was charged with bribery, and he was acquitted, according to Snyder.

When Snyder was offered the alleged bribe, he reported it to Senate president William S. James, D-Harford.

State Police asked Snyder to give them 48 hours to try to make an arrest before going public with the information.

"The arrests culminated several days of cloak-and-dagger investigation by State Police," the Herald story said.

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