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Police: Princess Anne official extorted county commissioner

A Princess Anne town commissioner has been accused of conducting an extortion scheme to keep someone from running as a Somerset County commissioner.

Maryland State Police said in a news release Monday that 25-year-old Lionel D. Frederick has been charged with three counts of extortion and theft.

State police say they began an investigation last week after receiving information that Frederick had approached a Somerset County commissioner, asking the commissioner for $5,000 in exchange for convincing someone to not run for the commissioner’s seat.

Authorities say they conducted surveillance of a Monday meeting between the two officials after the county commissioner arranged to meet with Frederick and give him $2,500. Troopers say they arrested Frederick shortly after he received the money.

It is unclear whether Frederick has an attorney.