Prince George's County Man Guilty of Violating Maryland's Election Law
MD ( April 13, 2011) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Jerry Mathis, 57, was found guilty of three counts of violating Maryland's election laws. Following a two day jury trial, Mathis was convicted of production and distribution of campaign material without a proper authority line as a campaign finance entity; production and distribution of campaign material without a proper authority line as an individual; and production and distribution of campaign material in support of or in opposition to a candidate without the candidate's authorization. Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Melanie M. Shaw-Geter scheduled sentencing for May 26th.
“This case sends a clear message that violating Maryland's campaign laws and attempting to mislead voters will be taken seriously by my office,” said Attorney General Gansler
The Attorney General's charges alleged 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.
The charges are all misdemeanors punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $25,000 fine for each charge.
In making today's announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorneys General Jason Abbott and Franklyn G. Musgrave and the Maryland State Police for their work on the case. This investigation was conducted by the Office of the Attorney General's Criminal Division and the Maryland State Police.