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Impallaria’s lawyer seeks to have evidence suppressed, charges dismissed

Del. Rick Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford counties, faces more than two decades in prison and fines up to $25,000 for four of the seven charges if he is convicted. His attorney is seeking to have the charges dismissed. (The Daily Record/File Photo)

The attorney representing Del. Rick Impallaria against criminal allegations that include theft of state funds and misconduct in office is hoping to have those charges dismissed.

The filing on Impallaria’s behalf in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court is a series of standard motions filed in similar criminal cases. The brief document does not immediately disclose a defense strategy, but Impallaria’s attorney hinted at forthcoming specifics.

“I’ll know more once I receive all the discovery I’ve asked for,” said Steven Silverman, a partner at Silverman Thompson Slutkin White, who is representing Impallaria.

Silverman has filed a two-page motion to dismiss the charges against Impallaria and to suppress evidence obtained through searches..

Charging documents previously filed in court note at least one such search of a cottage on Punte Lane in Essex. Sources inside the legislature said investigators also seized state computers assigned to Impallaria.

The four-term Harford County Republican, was charged July 27 with theft of state funds. He was defeated last month in his primary bid for reelection.

As a delegate, Impallaria allegedly used state funds to pay for a district office in a cottage, owned by the family of his long-time legislative aide, that was not in his district. The rent payments allegedly covered both the cottage meant to be his district office as well as an adjacent cottage Impallaria had been renting for personal use.

At the time, Impallaria represented a district that included eastern Baltimore County and a portion of western Harford County.

The cottages on Punte Lane were not in his district for the decade Impallaria allegedly had the state paying the rent.

Investigators said when they searched the alleged district office space they found personal items in storage including a bed frame, sporting equipment and coolers.

Impallaria faces five charges related to the alleged property rental scheme, including two counts of misconduct in office and theft of $44,100 for rent payments for 5 Punte Lane. He also faces a charge of misappropriation by a fiduciary for the use of $92,800 in state funds for the alleged district office property at 4 Punte Lane.

Additionally, Impallaria is accused of stealing $2,400 in funds from the General Assembly. The money, meant to furnish the district office, allegedly paid for campaign fundraising mailings instead.

Impallaria also faces three charges related to the use of state funds for the campaign mailers, including misconduct in office, theft of $2,405.30 to pay for the mailings and fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.

The delegate faces more than two decades in prison and fines up to $25,000 for four of the seven charges. He also faces additional but unspecified penalties related to the counts of misconduct in office.

The charges were filed in Anne Arundel County soon after Impallaria lost a Republican primary election in a newly drawn district in Harford County.

In a previous statement, Silverman said Impallaria had been aware of the investigation “for some time.” He said his firm has investigated the prosecutor’s version contained in the indictment. That investigation, he said, included interviews with over a dozen witnesses.

“I can say in no uncertain terms that Delegate Impallaria has not violated the law as alleged,” said Silverman.

If any charges are forthcoming against additional defendants, Silverman requested that those trials be held separately.

In a brief call, Silverman said he was unaware of other defendants but couldn’t immediately rule out the possibility.

Silverman said specifics related to his motions would likely materialize after prosecutors turn over evidence. “I think you’re going to see some good stuff coming,” he said.