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Del. Hattie Harrison’s grandson pleads guilty to theft from her campaign fund

ANNAPOLIS – A grandson of the late Del. Hattie N. Harrison, D-Baltimore City, pleaded guilty Thursday to felony theft of $17,628 from his grandmother’s campaign fund during and after his stint as her treasurer.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul A. Hackner sentenced Philip Harrison II, 35, to five years in prison, with all but 15 days suspended, and three years’ supervised probation. Hackner also ordered Harrison to pay $17,628 in restitution.

“No candidate or campaign finance officer can possibly be unaware that campaign funds cannot be converted to the personal use of a candidate or [campaign] officer,” Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt, who prosecuted the case, said in a statement. “Misuse or theft of campaign funds simply cannot be tolerated.”

In a statement of facts accompanying his plea, Harrison acknowledged having cut ecks to himself from the campaign fund to himself and his now-wife Rehanna Singletary while treasurer of the “Hattie N. Harrison for Delegate” campaign committee from July 3, 2006 to Nov. 10, 2009. Harrison also kept a campaign-account checkbook after serving as treasurer and paid several Comcast and Verizon bills by forging his successor’s name between Nov. 10, 2009 and Aug. 1, 2010.

In January, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court grand jury indicted Harrison on charges of felony theft, fraudulent misappropriation of campaign funds and unlawful disbursement in violation of the Maryland Election Law Article.

If Harrison were convicted of all charges, he would have faced a maximum penalty of 21 years in prison and $40,000 in fines, according to Davitt.

Del. Harrison served nearly 40 years in the House before she died in office on Jan. 28, 2013. She was 84.