Veteran Md. lawmaker charged with embezzlement over cottage rental payments

A veteran Republican in the Maryland House of Delegates has been charged with theft, misconduct in office and embezzlement over rental payments made on a Baltimore County cottage and payments made for fundraising letters.

A criminal information document filed by Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court states Del. Rick Impallaria listed the cottage in Essex, Maryland, as his “district office,” although it was located outside the 7th District he represents.

Since July 2012, the Maryland General Assembly has paid a total of $92,800 in rent on the cottage, which is next door to a cottage Impallaria rented for 10 years prior, according to the state prosecutor.

The amount the state paid for the “district office” was more than double the monthly rent charged to other tenants of the cottages — rising to $800 in 2016. Ledgers showed Impallaria stopped paying rent on his own cottage in July 2012 at the same time the state began picking up the tab for the neighboring cottage, according to court documents.

Documents said a search of the cottage that Impallaria claimed as a “district office” revealed it was used to store personal items, including bedroom furniture, folding beds, pellet rifles and ammunition, clothing, campaign materials, skis and coolers.

Separately, the information said Impallaria told his chief of staff to arrange a transaction in June 2019 with an office supply company for an invoice that included high-priced office furniture that Impallaria didn’t actually order. After the full amount was reimbursed by the General Assembly, Impallaria allegedly used the extra money, which had been credited to him by the office supply company, to pay for fundraising letters soliciting donations to the Friends of Rick Impallaria campaign finance committee, according to the state prosecutor.

Impallaria, 59, has represented the 7th District — which includes Baltimore and Harford counties — since 2003.

Votes are still being counted in the Republican primary for the 7th District, but Impallaria was trailing Del. Lauren Arikan in his bid for reelection, according to Maryland Matters.

WTOP has reached out to Impallaria’s office for comment.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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