Gov. Martin O'Malley said Thursday that he will follow the lead of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in returning donations from Richard Stewart, a political mover and shaker who pleaded guilty this month to tax evasion.
Stewart's conviction brought calls from Maryland Republicans for Democrats who received donations from Stewart to return them.
Cummings became the first prominent Democrat to announce he would do so, and Brown said this week that he has sent back $5,750 in contributions from Stewart.
Asked about money his campaign commitee received from Stewart in 2007, O'Malley said he would do the same as his fellow Democrats, but did not specify whether the funds would be returned to Stewart or donated to charity.
The O'Malley-Brown slate received $2,500 from Stewart in 2007, while O'Malley himself received $7,000 between 2003 and 2008 -- the period during which Stewart admitted to failing to pay what he owed in Social Security and payroll taxes.
Until recently, Stewart served as an O'Malley appointee to the state's redistricting commission and as a board member of the Maryland Stadium Authority. O'Malley has said Stewart would be removed from both posts.