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Chesapeake Beach councilman charged with illegal wiretapping takes Alford plea

Former Maryland state police officer and current Chesapeake Beach Town Council member Stewart Cumbo was charged with illegal wiretapping after he recorded roughly 275 phone calls between July and November 2018 without notifying the other parties that they were being recorded, the Office of the State Prosecutor announced Thursday. Through his attorney, Cumbo said Thursday afternoon that he would enter an Alford plea for the count related to violating the state’s wiretapping laws.

The state prosecutor’s office agreed to probation before judgment, which is not a conviction, and community service, Cumbo’s attorney, Timothy F. Maloney, said in a news release.

Cumbo said he used the Google and iTunes phone apps to record some calls because he experienced occasional memory problems. Most of the calls were to family and friends and Cumbo says he did not share the recordings or “use them to harm anyone,” the news release states.

“I have accepted full responsibility for my mistake. I am grateful that the Maryland State Prosecutor has agreed to recommend community service and probation before judgment, so I can later have my record expunged. In my 65 years, I have never had even a blemish on my record. This has been very embarrassing for my family and me,” Cumbo said.

Cumbo will be able to continue to serve on the Chesapeake Beach Town Council.

“We need to ensure people are respecting boundaries set by Maryland’s wiretapping laws; it is especially egregious that a former police officer would be unaware of the notice requirements under Maryland’s wiretapping laws,” State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said in a news release.

Cumbo was charged in Calvert County Circuit Court, the state prosecutor’s office said.

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