Ex-mayor gets 9 years for theft, forgery

Record Observer - - News -

DENTON — A for­mer Mary­del mayor has been sen­tenced to nine years in prison for steal­ing more than $60,000 from the town dur­ing a four-year pe­riod.

Judge Sid­ney S. Cam­pen sen­tenced for­mer Mary­del Mayor Deb­o­rah Rowe to nine years in prison for steal­ing $61,660 from the town be­tween 2012 and 2016.

The Of­fice of the Mary­land State Pros­e­cu­tor an­nounced the sen­tence in a July 12 news re­lease. In Fe­bru­ary, Rowe pleaded guilty to theft scheme, mis­con­duct in of­fice and forgery, af­ter be­ing ac­cused last August of steal­ing $61,660 of the town’s money.

Cam­pen gave Rowe a three-year sen­tence for each guilty plea with each sen­tence run­ning con­sec­u­tive of the others, re­sult­ing in a nine-year sen­tence.

In an ad­dress to Rowe, Cam­pen said Rowe be­trayed Mar ydel as mayor. He said he too hailed from a small town and opined the im­por­tance of trust in small towns, as ev­ery­one knows ever yone.

He said pun­ish­ment and deter­rence were two fac­tors for why he gave Rowe a nine-year term, which was above the sen­tenc­ing guide­lines.

Ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of the State Pros­e­cu­tor, Rowe pre­sented the Town of Mary­del with a check for the full amount of resti­tu­tion of $61,660.07, and read a let­ter of apol­ogy to the com­mu­nity.

In a state­ment of facts read be­fore Cam­pen dur­ing the Fe­bru­ary plea hear­ing, Rowe ad­mit­ted to mak­ing unau­tho­rized trans­fers of lump sums of money from the town’s bank­ing ac­count to her per­sonal ac­count, writ­ing checks to her­self to cash, which she then de­posited into her per­sonal bank ac­count, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of the State Pros­e­cu­tor.

Rowe also ob­tained a debit card in the name of Mary­del, which she used to pay per­sonal ex­penses, in­clud­ing phone and ca­ble bills, as well as prop­erty tax pay­ment for land Rowe owned in John­ston County, N.C., ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors. Rowe fur­ther ad­mit­ted to forg­ing the sig­na­tures of the other town com­mis­sion­ers on the checks.

“The loss of $61,000 to a small town like Mary­del is a ma­jor blow to the fi­nances of the town,” State Pros­e­cu­tor Em­met C. Davitt said at the Fe­bru­ary hear­ing.

The Of­fice of the Mary­land State Pros­e­cu­tor thanked the Caro­line County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, the Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and Mary­land State Po­lice for their sup­port and as­sis­tance through­out the case.


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