Final 2 Pa. Turnpike public corruption defendants plead guilty, receive 5 years of probation

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — A prosecution of "pay-to-play" allegations within the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is ending with two former high-ranking officials pleading guilty and getting probation.

Former chief executive Joe Brimmeier and former chief operating officer George Hatalowich pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of conflict of interest. Both were sentenced to five years of probation.

The state attorney general's office says both pleas involved accepting hospitality from engineering firms.

In Brimmeier's case, he solicited campaign donations for former Gov. Ed Rendell.

Hatalowich admitted he influenced how turnpike contracts were awarded to help a firm.

Former turnpike chairman Mitch Rubin pleaded guilty to commercial bribery last week and received a similar sentence.

The only remaining count against former state Sen. Bob Mellow was dropped last month after the judge threw out other charges.

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