Former mayor turns herself in after missed court date
DENTON — Former Marydel mayor Debbie Rowe appeared in Caroline County Circuit Court on Friday, Jan. 13, to explain why she had missed a scheduled pre-trial conference two days earlier.
A bench warrant for Rowe’s arrest was issued after she failed to appear for the conference Wednesday, Jan. 11. She turned herself in Thursday, Jan. 12.
Appearing for a bond hearing Jan. 13, Rowe said she had been stranded by car trouble in Allegheny County, where she owns a business, when she was supposed to be in court two days earlier.
“I never intended to not show up,” Rowe said.
Retired Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Beck said Rowe had wasted taxpayer money; her trial, originally scheduled to start Wednesday, Jan. 18, now had to be rescheduled due to the missed conference.
Beck decided to release Rowe on the previous terms of her bond, 10 percent of $5,000, but warned her if she fails to appear again, he will order her held without bond.
The trial was rescheduled to begin Wednesday, Feb 1.
Last August, Rowe was accused of stealing $61,660 of the town’s funds over a four-year period for personal use. She faces multiple charges of felony theft, one count of misconduct, one count of misappropriation by a fiduciary or trustee and two counts of forger y.
The charges allege Rowe embezzled the money between March 28, 2012, and May 27, 2016, from the town’s accounts at PNC Bank and BB&T.
Allegedly, she used the money to pay for a tax assessment for personal property in Johnston County, N.C., personal Comcast and Sprint bills, three rooms at the Princess Bayside Hotel in Ocean City and a personal loan.
The charges also said Rowe used the town’s debit card, made ATM withdrawals and wrote checks to herself by forging the signatures of the town’s other two commissioners, Joyce Ward and Elizabeth Simmons.