As if there isn’t enough political drama oozing out of Prince George’s County, MD, yet another politician is facing indictment on corruption and misuse of public funds.
The affluent, Black-majority county in Maryland finds itself as ground zero in a long string of scandals that have left the Washington, D.C. suburbs image in tatters.
Now it’s Maryland General Assembly Delegate Tiffany Alston. From the Washington Informer:
Prince George’s County Del. Tiffany Alston has been indicted on charges surrounding use of public funds to pay the salary of an employee at her private law practice, according to reports by The Baltimore Sun.
Alston, who was being investigated by the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor, also faces charges stemming from use of her campaign funds to purchase a wedding dress.
According to The Sun, prosecutors alleged that Alston had a $100-a-day clerk position added to her office payroll, which is funded by taxpayer dollars. Prosecutors also allege that $800 was stolen.
Of course, not to let any scandal involving Maryland’s Black political establishment slip, here’s the Baltimore Sun:
House Speaker Michael E. Busch requested Thursday that the Department of Legislative Services conduct biweekly reviews of Alston’s legislative account and “assume responsibility for verifying the time sheets of her legislative employees,” according to a statement from his office.
“The allegation of theft of state dollars warrants an immediate response to assure the public that legislative funds are being used appropriately by those who have been entrusted with them,” Busch said in a statement.
Most delegates have a budget of about $35,000 a year for staff and office supplies. Lawmakers in leadership posts receive more.
Aside from the charges, Alston, a freshman delegate, is best known for an episode last spring during the debate over same-sex marriage. She walked out of a House Judiciary Committee voting session on the gay marriage bill, withdrawing her support for the measure even though she co-sponsored it.
Alston, along with several other lawmakers, also walked out of a Legislative Black Caucus meeting in October. Their action denied the body the quorum needed to take a position on Gov. Martin O’Malley‘s proposed congressional redistricting map.
Alston constantly attracting attention to herself by walking out of key legislative meetings obviously hasn’t helped her cause politically. Will keep you posted.