For­mer Marydel mayor pleads guilty to theft scheme

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— For­mer Marydel mayor Deb­bie Rowe pleaded guilty Feb. 1, to theft scheme, mis­con­duct in of­fice and forgery, af­ter be­ing ac­cused last Au­gust of steal­ing $61,660 of the town’s money.

“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. “We will con­tinue to pur­sue jus­tice on be­half of the cit­i­zens of the town of Marydel.”

— For­mer Marydel Mayor Deb­o­rah Rowe pleaded guilty Wed­nes­day, Feb. 1, to theft scheme, mis­con­duct in of­fice and forgery, af­ter be­ing ac­cused last Au­gust of steal­ing $61,660 of the town’s money.

“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. “We will con­tinue to pur­sue jus­tice on be­half of the cit­i­zens of the town of Marydel.”

In a state­ment of facts read be­fore Judge Sid­ney S. Cam­pen, 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 and 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 Sprint phone and Com­cast 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.

Rowe is sched­uled to be sen­tenced April 5. She was taken into cus­tody af­ter the guilty plea and is be­ing held with­out bond pend­ing sen­tenc­ing, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors.

She faces po­ten­tial in­car­cer­a­tion on each charge. The max­i­mum penalty for felony theft is 15 years. Mis­con­duct in of­fice is a com­mon law of­fense that car­ries a max­i­mum penalty “of any­thing not cruel and un­usual,” pros­e­cu­tors said. Forgery car­ries a po­ten­tial 10-year penalty.

DEB­BIE ROWE

DEB­BIE ROWE

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