Ex-mayor gets 9 years for theft, forgery
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.