77
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      Derek Matthews pleads guilty to accepting bribes

      ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A former regional director in the Department of Homeland Security has pleaded guilty to accepting more than $12,000 in bribes from a Virginia contractor.

      Forty-six-year-old Derek Matthews of Harwood, Md., admitted in court papers Thursday in federal court in Alexandria that he signed a "consulting contract" with a private contractor paying him $50,000 a year to use his insider status and influence to help the company win government contracts.

      Matthews was regional director for the National Capital Region of DHS' Federal Protective Services.

      Matthews received at least three monthly payments totaling $12,500 before the scheme unraveled.

      An executive at the security contractor, Keith Hedman, pleaded guilty last month to more than $30 million in contract fraud for falsely representing that his company qualified for preferential status as a minority-owned business.