A Maryland community banker was fined $10,000 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

William David Hill, founder and former chairman of the 18-month-old Easton Bank and Trust Co. was also ordered to perform 720 hours of community service, including speeches to community groups about the dangers of drug use.

Mr. Hill, a dentist and retirement home operator whose family is one of Easton's most prominent, was sentenced to three years' probation. The maximum sentence for the offense is four years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

According to an account in the Easton Star-Democrat, the sentencing judge put Mr. Hill on probation because of his civic involvement and recent treatment at a drug rehabilitation facility.

An attorney for Mr. Hill said the banker had first tried crack cocaine only eight months ago.

As long as Mr. Hill does not stray from his probation conditions, he will not go to prison and will not have a criminal record.

Mr. Hill was arrested in December by local police and Drug Enforcement Agency officers who observed him receiving an envelope with crack cocaine and marijuana from a local businesswoman.

Last month, Easton Bank and Trust said Mr. Hill had taken leave of his post as chairman of both the bank and its holding company, Easton Bancorp, "for health and related concerns."

Mr. Hill founded Easton Bank in 1993. It was the first bank chartered in Easton, a small town on Maryland's Eastern Shore, in 100 years.

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