Candidates face criminal charges

Finance reporting complaints brought against 77

April 03, 2009|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,brent.jones@baltsun.com

State prosecutors have filed criminal charges against 77 political candidates - including former Baltimore mayoral candidate Andrey Bundley - accusing them of violating election laws regarding campaign finance reports, according to the state prosecutor's office.

Bundley; Scott Rolle, who ran for attorney general; city liquor board commissioner Elizabeth C. Smith; and Del. Jill P. Carter are among those facing charges, which could carry up to a year in jail and a $25,000 fine. Prosecutors said the alleged violators received criminal summonses, not warrants, charging them with failure to file campaign finance reports on time.

All candidates for office are required to file campaign finance reports in accordance with Maryland Election Law. Campaign finance committees are required to have a chairman and treasurer and must file reports with the State Board of Elections periodically, showing contributions and expenditures.

James Cabezas, a chief investigator with the Office of the State Prosecutor, said the charges help maintain integrity in the election process. Cabezas said his office will consider dropping cases if candidates submit the proper paperwork in the near future.

No trial dates have been set.

Smith, who lost her bid for a City Council seat to Sharon Green Middleton, said the failure to file was a simple oversight on her committee's part. "We'll get it taken care of," she said.

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