Maryland lawmaker charged with theft and office misconduct

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A veteran Maryland lawmaker has been charged with theft, embezzlement and multiple counts of misconduct in the line of duty, according to charging documents filed Wednesday by the state’s attorney’s office.

Republican Del. Richard K. Impallaria of Harford County, who served in the General Assembly for two decades, faces seven counts stemming from his alleged illegal use of state money to pay for a “district office in Essex, outside his district boundaries, and a “personal cottage” next door.

Impallaria is accused of stealing $44,100 from Maryland in the form of monthly rent and committing fraud by using $92,800 in public funds to pay the “district office.”

Impallaria, which lost the Republican primary July 19, did not immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment. His attorney, Steve Silverman, said Impalaria had known about the allegations “for some time” and denies any wrongdoing.

“After investigating the state’s alleged version of events … as well as interviewing more than a dozen witnesses and relevant documents, I can say unequivocally that Delegate Impallaria did not violate either the letter or spirit of the law,” Silverman said. in a statement Wednesday.

According to the charging document, filed Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, prosecutors allege that “the State of Maryland paid $92,800 in rent for the ‘district office’ at 4 Punte Lane” over a 10-year period – twice as much rent as other units in the same community “During that same period,” prosecutors say, Impallaria “paid $0.00 in rent for its neighboring cottage.”

Prosecutors say Impallaria used the purported district office to store personal items, including bedroom furniture, pellet guns and ammunition, clothing, building materials, campaign gear, skis and coolers.

The district attorney also alleges that Imallaria fabricated invoices, submitting reimbursements for items, including furniture and office supplies, that were never ordered. According to the charging document, Impallaria devised a scheme to receive a check for $2,405.03 from the General Assembly for furniture he never ordered and a credit for the same amount from a salesman. . Later, according to the billing document, the seller created campaign letters and fundraising materials, and Impallaria used the credit to help pay the bill.

“Elected officials are expected to be good stewards of state resources,” State’s Attorney Charlton T. Howard III said in a statement. “Any official who abuses the public trust for personal gain must be held accountable.”

2022 Maryland Primary Election Results

Jeremy Baker, chief of staff for House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), said he could not comment on the pending matter, “but Speaker Jones expects Every member of the House of Delegates is to abide by the law and be honest stewards of taxpayers’ money The misuse of public funds is an issue we take seriously.

Impallaria, a polarizing figure and longtime conservative in Annapolis, has served on the House Economic Affairs Committee since he began serving as a delegate in 2003. In the past four years, he has sponsored 13 bills , several of which were local liquor bills.

Impallaria has at times been at odds with members of his own party; in 2019, a judge dismissed a libel suit he filed against four Republican Party officials, whom he accused of talking about him in a meeting, the Baltimore Sun reported.

In 2017, he served two days in jail for drunk driving, after being convicted of drunk driving at the Maryland Counties Association’s annual summer conference in Ocean City.

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