Attorney General Gansler Files Charges Against Prince George's County Man for Violating Maryland's Election
MD ( October 8, 2010) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Jerry Mathis, 57, was charged in Prince George's County Circuit Court with three counts of distributing campaign material without proper authority line in violation of Maryland's election law. A trial date has not yet been set.
The charges allege that from August 21, 2010 through September 7, 2010, Mathis published and distributed illegal campaign flyers to Prince George‘s County residents. Mathis falsely provided that the name of the campaign finance entity responsible for the flyers was “Citizens for Change,” which is not registered with the State Board of Elections, and does not exist as a campaign finance entity in Maryland as defined under Maryland law. Furthermore, Mathis falsely named Charles Summers as the treasurer of “Citizens for Change.” Mr. Summers did not have any role in the publication or distribution of the campaign flyers, and Mr. Summers did not give Mathis permission to name him as the treasurer on the campaign flyers.
Distributing campaign material without proper authority line is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $25,000 fine.
This investigation was conducted by the Office of the Attorney General's Criminal Division and the Maryland State Police. A criminal charge is merely an accusation of wrongdoing and the defendant is presumed innocent unless the State proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.