Maryland lawmaker charged with felony theft, other charges

July 27, 2022 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland state legislator who recently lost his primary for reelection has been charged with felony theft and other charges related to the misuse of state funds, officials said Wednesday.

Del. Richard Impallaria, a Republican, has been charged with multiple counts of misconduct in office, theft and embezzlement, State Prosecutor Charlton Howard said in a news release.

Impallaria facilitated rental payments from the Maryland General Assembly to his personal landlord using funds for a “district office” that was actually a building outside of his district, officials said. The building, which was used to store the delegate’s personal items, was located next door to his personal cottage and shared the same owners, the prosecutor’s office said.

The legislature paid double the amount of rent for Impallaria’s “district office” than any other tenant in the community on average, the prosecutor’s office said.

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From July 2012 through May 31, 2022, the state paid $92,800 in rent for the “district office,” according to the prosecutor. During that time, Impallaria didn’t pay rent for his neighboring cottage that shared the same landlords, prosecutors said.

Impallaria did not immediately return a phone call and an email seeking comment.

The charges also allege that Impallaria facilitated the creation of an invoice with an office supply vendor to show the purchase of office furniture that was never ordered that showed a credit of about $2,405. Impallaria then sought and received reimbursement from the Maryland General Assembly using public funds for the items, which were neither ordered nor received, Howard said.

Impallaria then used the $2,405.30 credit to pay for the production of fundraising letters on behalf of his campaign entity, Friends of Rick Impallaria, the prosecutor said.

“Elected officials are expected to be good stewards of the State’s resources,” Howard said in a news release. “Any official who abuses the public trust for personal gain must be held accountable.”

Impallaria, who has served in the House of Delegates since 2003, recently lost his reelection bid in last week’s primary in a district in Harford County.