John Stendrini, chief of staff to former Baltimore police Commissioner Edward T. Norris, pleaded guilty yesterday of conspiring with Norris to use money from a police expense account to pay for romantic liaisons, lavish meals, trips, and gifts, says the Baltimore Sun. Strendrini, 60, will be sentenced on June 21.
Stendrini’s plea came two days after Norris pleaded guilty. Norris and Stendrini, former high-ranking officers in New York’s Police Department, came to Baltimore in early 2000 as part of a hard-charging effort to reduce crime rates and overhaul the troubled city Police Department.
Federal prosecutor Steven Levin said Stendrini was responsible for a loss of between $5,000 and $10,000. “In essence, Mr. Stendrini and Mr. Norris violated the trust of the people they were sworn to protect,” Levin said. Prosecutors said that Stendrini used about $1,400 from the fund to pay for a “romantic encounter” in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, when he was supposed to be attending a police conference in Toronto.