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February 2, 2017: Town Mayor Pleads Guilty to Felony Theft, Misconduct in Office and Forgery

For Immediate Release


State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt announced today that Deborah Rowe, Mayor and President of the Town of Marydel in Caroline County, pled guilty to theft scheme between $10,000 and $100,000, misconduct in office and forgery.

In a statement of facts read before the Honorable Sidney S. Campen Jr., Rowe admitted to making unauthorized transfers of lump sums of money from the Town of Marydel’s banking account to her own personal account, writing checks to herself and to cash which she then deposited into her own personal bank account. She also obtained a debit card in the name of the Town which she used to pay personal expenses including Sprint phone and Comcast bills as well as a property tax payment for land Rowe owned in North Carolina.  Rowe further admitted to forging the signatures of the other town commissioners on these checks.  The total theft amounted to $61,660.07.

Rowe is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5, 2017. She was taken into custody after the guilty plea and is currently being held without bond pending sentencing.  She is facing potential incarceration on each charge.  The maximum penalty for felony theft is fifteen (15) years; misconduct in office is a common law offence and carries a maximum penalty of anything not cruel and unusual and forgery carries a potential ten (10) year penalty.

State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt stated: “The loss of $61,000.00 to a small town like Marydel is a major blow to the finances of the town.  We will continue to pursue justice on behalf of the citizens of the Town of Marydel.”

The Office of the State Prosecutor would like to thank the Caroline County Sheriff’s department and the Maryland State Police for their help on this case and the Office of the Attorney General who referred the initial complaint.