Former LCB official to plead guilty in kickbacks

    A former public employee who once decided what was sold in Pennsylvania’s state-owned system of liquor stores plans to plead guilty to a criminal charge for taking cash and gifts from suppliers.

    The U.S. attorney’s office in Harrisburg said Monday that 50-year-old Harrisburg resident James Short Jr. had signed an agreement to plead guilty to honest services mail fraud.

    The former marketing director for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board took benefits over about a decade from an unnamed manufacturer outside Pennsylvania and a distributor from within the state, federal prosecutors said.

    They claim he accepted golf trips, gift cards, dozens of meals, sports tickets, alcohol and other gifts, and filed false ethics reports to conceal the freebies.

    A federal judge will decide whether to accept the plea agreement.

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