November 17, 2020: Edward M. Estes, Mayor of Glen Arden, Maryland, Charged with Violating the Maryland Wiretap Statute and Misconduct in Office
For Immediate Release November 17, 2020
Edward M. Estes, Mayor of Glen Arden, Maryland, Charged with Violating the Maryland Wiretap Statute and Misconduct in Office
Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III announced today that a Prince George’s County grand jury has indicted Edward M. Estes, 63, Mayor of Glenarden, Maryland, for illegally intercepting private communications and misconduct in office.
Mr. Estes is alleged to have secretly recorded private conversations between himself and other parties while performing his duties as Mayor of Glenarden. Under Maryland law, unless a legal exception pertains, everyone participating in a private conversation must consent before any communication is recorded.
If convicted of illegal recording, Mr. Estes faces a maximum sentence of imprisonment of not more than five (5) years and a $10,000 fine, or both. If convicted of misconduct in office, Mr. Estes potentially faces any sentence that is deemed not to be cruel or unusual. He is scheduled for an initial arraignment on December 18, 2020.
“When public officials use their role to act outside the law and clandestinely record individuals that believe they are engaged in private communications, they must be held accountable,” said Howard.
All individuals who are charged with a criminal offense are presumed to be innocent.
A copy of the indictment can be found HERE
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY
STATE OF MARYLAND *
VS * CASE NO.:
EDWARD MITCHELL ESTES *
The Grand Jurors of the State of Maryland for the body of Prince Georges County do on their Oath present the following:
On or about October 11, 2019, at Prince Georges County, Maryland, EDWARD MITCHELL ESTES did willfully intercept, by recording on his MacBook Apple Computer, an oral communication, without the knowledge or consent of the intercepted party, to wit: ESTES used his MacBook Apple Computer to record a private conversation between himself and other individuals without telling the other individuals that the conversation was being recorded, in violation of §10-402(a)(1) of the Court and Judicial Proceedings Article and against the peace, government and dignity of the State.
CJIS Code 1-5595
Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article §10-402(a)(1)
Penalty 5 years and/or $10,000
On or about October 11, 2019, at Prince George’s County, Maryland, EDWARD MITCHELL ESTES, did corruptly, in violation of and in perversion of his duties as a duly sworn Mayor of the City of Glenarden, Maryland to uphold, enforce, and obey the laws of the State of Maryland, did commit misconduct in office by knowingly, willfully, and intentionally, under the color of his office, using his MacBook Apple computer to intercept an oral communication without the knowledge or consent of the intercepted party, in violation of the common law and against the peace, government and dignity of the State.
CJIS Code 2-0645
Misconduct in Office: Common Law
Penalty: Anything not cruel and unusual
By: CHARLTON T. HOWARD III
Charles M. Blomquist
Deputy State Prosecutor
Office of the State Prosecutor
Suite 410, Hampton Plaza
300 E. Joppa Road
Towson, Maryland 21286
TO THE PERSON CHARGED:
- This paper charges you with committing a crime.
- If you have been arrested and remain in custody, you have the right to have a judicial officer decide whether you should be released from jail until your trial.
- If you have been served with a citation or summons directing you to appear before a judicial officer for a preliminary inquiry at a date and time designated or within five days of service if no time is designated, a judicial officer will advise you of your rights, the charges against you, and penalties. The preliminary inquiry will be cancelled if a lawyer has entered an appearance to represent you.
- You have the right to have a lawyer.
- A lawyer can be helpful to you by:
- explaining the charges in this paper;
- telling you the possible penalties;
- explaining any potential collateral consequences of a conviction, including immigration consequences;
- helping you at trial;
- helping you protect your constitutional rights; and
- helping you to get a fair penalty if convicted.
- Even if you plan to plead guilty, a lawyer can be helpful.
- If you are eligible, the Public Defender or a court-appointed attorney will represent you at any initial appearance before a judicial officer and at any proceeding under Rule 4-216.2 to review an order of a District Court commissioner regarding pretrial release. If you want a lawyer for any further proceeding, including trial, but do not have the money to hire one, the Public Defender may provide a lawyer for you. To apply for Public Defender representation, contact a District Court commissioner.
- If you want a lawyer but you cannot get one and the Public Defender will not provide one for you, contact the court clerk as soon as possible.
- DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DATE OF YOUR TRIAL TO GET A LAWYER. If you do not have a lawyer before the trial date, you may have to go to trial without one.
REQUEST FOR SUMMONS
PLEASE ISSUE a criminal summons in this case for the Defendant, EDWARD MITCHELL ESTES, to be served upon the defendant should be issued to the Defendant, Edward Mitchell Estes, at the following address:
Edward Mitchell Estes
9900 Smithview Place
Glenarden, Prince George’s County, Maryland 20706