Mass. liquor inspector arraigned on bribe charges

October 8, 2010

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MALDEN, Mass.—An inspector for the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission has been arraigned on charges of accepting a $3,000 bribe in exchange for helping a convicted felon get a liquor license.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said that 39-year-old Arthur Hitchman of Melrose was arraigned Friday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on a number of charges, including attempted extortion and soliciting and accepting a corrupt gift to influence an official act. He was ordered held on $3,000 cash bail.

Hitchman pleaded not guilty at his earlier district court arraignment.

Authorities say Hitchman offered to help another man get a liquor license for a planned Everett restaurant and accepted a bribe from an undercover state trooper.

A message left with his attorney, Michael Smerczynski, was not immediately returned.

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