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Del. Tiffany Alston Strikes Plea Bargain

A Prince George's county delegate was accused of using campaign finances to pay for her wedding.

By Caitlin Johnston, Capital News Service

Delegate Tiffany Alston (D-Prince George's) struck a plea bargain Tuesday morning on charges of using campaign money to help pay for her wedding.

Prosecutors said the plea will result in her suspension from the Maryland House of Delegates, but Alston and her attorney remain hopeful she will maintain her position.

State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt and Alston's attorney J. Wyndal Gordon reached the agreement just before trial was scheduled to start in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Alston, 35, was found guilty in June on a separate charge of stealing from the General Assembly to pay an employee at her law firm.

Tuesday's plea bargain requires Alston to complete 300 hours of community service, pay $800 in restitution and serve three years of supervised probation. The plea bargain also allows for a chance to clear a previous sentencing on misconduct in office, on the condition that she pay the restitution and complete her community service.

While those penalties are straightforward, both sides maintain a fundamental disagreement about whether or not she'll stay in office. Davitt said Maryland's Constitution requires Alston to give up her seat, but Gordon said that is to be decided by the attorneys for the General Assembly.

"As the court has agreed to strike the guilty finding and enter probation before judgment, I'm not totally convinced it's as cut and dry as the state says it is," Gordon said. "This is probably perhaps the best resolution, because it allows her to remain in office and leave her fate with her colleagues as opposed to with the jury of Anne Arundel County."

This is not something that will be decided in the short run, Gordon said. Until then, Alston will work to complete her community service hours.

The attorney general's office, which advises the General Assembly, is awaiting receipt and review of the court proceedings, and declined to comment at this time on the case.

Alston broke down in tears outside the courtroom while discussing the support she's received from constituents, many of whom sent letters, cards and gifts.

"My constituents have been wonderful," Alston said. "I just spend a lot of time praying and being thankful for what I do have."

Alston, who represents parts of Prince George's County in District 24, was elected in 2010. Before the corruption trials, she may have been best known for stalling progress on same-sex marriage legislation when she failed to show up for a committee vote on a bill she co-sponsored.

SPEAK OUT: Should Alston be allowed to remain in her position? Tell us in the comments.

Terry Szall October 10, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Ya gotta love politics. Are there 20 honest people in this country any more? Are there 19 honest people? Etc. I know..........Jack Johnson, he was honest. Choose your poison and get out and vote!
Marcus Aurelius October 15, 2012 at 03:25 PM
ever notice 99% of the time the criminal in politics has a D for democrat after it? Whena re the people of Maryland going to wake up and stop voting for criminal democrats for office, just because they are African american. We have to start looking alittle bit deeper than the skin color.
haha October 15, 2012 at 03:28 PM
LOL, says the biggest racist on Patch. P.S. "ever notice 99% of the time the criminal in politics has a D for democrat after it?" someone sure is uneducated.
Marcus Aurelius October 18, 2012 at 01:12 PM
truth and you know it, has nothing to do with race, has to do with facts but we know they do not matter to most anymore.
smith December 08, 2012 at 03:13 PM
A child Of GOD Case dismissed saved by grace GOD will protect her and give her the mercy she needs in this hour. We all have fell short of GOD glory and if it had not been for GOD on our side where would we be. She is no different HE without sin cast the first stone.

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