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Ousted State Delegate Impallaria hit with theft, embezzlement charges

Rick Impallaria.jpg
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 18:42:20-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — He's been a State Delegate for nearly 20 years.

Now, Joppatowne native Rick Impallaria faces multiple counts of theft, embezzlement, and misconduct in office.

The case surrounds the usage of a storage space Impallaria rented out, next door to a cottage he stayed at on Punte Lane in Essex.

State rules allow lawmakers to be reimbursed only for work-related district office expenses, but not personal expenses.

Prosecutors say Impallaria paid no personal rent starting in July 20212, and instead charged the state for what the cottage and neighboring storage unit cost combined, which answers for why the price was double than what other residents in the neighborhood were paying for their property.

By doing this, prosecutors say he stole nearly $93,000.

On top of that the storage unit was also outside of the 7th District that Impallaria represented, and is owned by the family of one of his aides.

Additionally, Impallaria claimed to have paid $2,400 for furniture he never actually ordered, all the while getting the state to reimburse him for it.

He allegedly used that money to send out campaign mailers, which is a violation of state reimbursement rules.

“Elected officials are expected to be good stewards of the State’s resources” stated State Prosecutor Charlton Howard. “Any official who abuses the public trust for personal gain must be held accountable.”

Impallaria lost last week's Republican Primary to Lauren Arikan, by nearly 20 percentage points.

"I am thankful to the State Prosecutor's Office for all their hard work uncovering this corruption," Arikan said in a statement in response to the charges. "This is the final chapter for an unethical elected official who has been abusing the trust of the people of District 7 and the State of Maryland for decades.“

Delegate Kathy Szeliga, who served in district 7 for 12 years with Impallaria, issued the following statement.

In light of today’s very serious charges against Delegate Rick Impallaria, he should resign immediately. These are very grim charges including conniving a scheme to pay almost $100,000 for his own rent and political mail using taxpayer dollars, implicating his staff to participate in his bad deeds, and a complete dereliction and perversion of office. The people of district 7 deserve an honest representative who is working hard for them and not distracted with pending civil and criminal charges.

The very detailed charges against Rick Impallaria will require his full attention to defend himself. For the dignity of the State and proper consideration for the honor of the Maryland House of Delegates, as well as the respect due to the good people of Baltimore and Harford Counties, Delegate Rick Impallaria must resign.