Ex-Candidate for Baltimore City Sheriff Runs Afoul of the Law

    A former candidate for Baltimore City Sheriff who pledged to be tough on crime has been charged with campaign finance irregularities.

    According to the Office of the State Prosecutor, Richard Parker, a Democrat who ran for the post in 2014, filed “a campaign finance report with false and misleading information.”

    Although he claimed to have more than $40,000 in his account, the Committee to Elect Richard Parker listed a bank account number “that did not exist,” the prosecutor said in a statement on Monday.

    According to the Maryland Board of Elections, that committee reported $46,292 in receipts on January 15, 2014 (almost all from ticket purchases) and another $9,275 in a second report, filed in May of that year.

    “His actual bank account for the Committee to Elect Richard Parker never contained an amount close to $40,000,” the state prosecutor said.

    The office also alleges that Parker’s campaign report contained the signature line of his treasurer over the line “Signature of Treasurer” when his treasurer had not examined the form or consented to having the forms signed in her name.

    “Transparency is an essential element of the campaign process and we must hold people accountable who do not accurately report their campaign information,” said Deputy State Prosecutor Kelly Madigan.

    Why did it take five years for the alleged violation to reach the charging stage? Madigan said Monday she could not comment.

    On his campaign website, Parker pledged “a smart, targeted and multifaceted strategy to prevent and control crime.” He promised to have sheriff’s deputies patrol Baltimore neighborhoods, to start a collaboration with the city’s police department, and to create after-school community centers for young people.

    Parker garnered just 13 percent of the vote in the 2014 Baltimore Sheriff primary, finishing last in a three-candidate race. Longtime Sheriff John W. Anderson (D) won the primary and the general election with ease.

    Efforts to reach Parker, an Army veteran and community activist, where not successful.

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    Bruce DePuyt
    Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.