A former high-ranking Prince George's County fire official was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for his role in wide-ranging schemes involving local developers and elected officials.
Karl Granzow, 47, who retired from the Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department as a deputy chief in 2009, pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to commit extortion and falsify Federal Elections Commission records, as well as income tax evasion.
In addition to his time behind bars, U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Granzow to three years of supervised probation following his release and a fine of $10,000.
Granzow must also forfeit his financial interests in Greenbelt Metropark, a development company whose owners Granzow worked with to pay county officials for favors in their effort to build a mixed-use development around the Greenbelt Metro station, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Granzow admitted to working with Greenbelt Metropark developers Daniel Colton and Patrick Ricker to conceal gifts and campaign contributions to state and county officials, at times enlisting straw donors to hide contributions, according to prosecutors.
Court records show Granzow admitted to making $37,500 in illegal gifts and contributions from 1997 to 2008. He also failed to report $225,974 in taxable income in 2004, according to prosecutors.
Charges against Granzow were a part of a lengthy investigation of government corruption in Prince George's County, highlighted by the arrests of former County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife, former Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, in 2010.
Jack Johnson was sentenced in 2011 to more than seven years in prison for extorting as much as $1 million in bribes and crooked cash from county officials and developers during his eight years as county executive.
Leslie Johnson was sentenced last year to one year and one day in prison after she admitted to flushing a $100,000 check -- a bribe from a developer for her husband -- and stuffing $79,600 in her bra and panties in an effort to hide money from FBI agents knocking on her door.