By Ann E. Marimow and Martin Weil
The Washington Post
10:50 PM EDT, November 2, 2012
Prince George's County Democrats on Friday selected businessman Greg Hall to replace Tiffany Alston in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Alston, a first-term Democrat, was suspended from the legislature last month after she was sentenced for misconduct in office. She had hoped to be reinstated after completing court-ordered community service and paying restitution to the General Assembly.
But a legal opinion Thursday from the legislature's attorney said that Alston was "permanently removed from elective office" at the time of her Oct. 9 sentencing.
Hall's nomination by the 24-member Democratic Central Committee after voting Friday night requires the approval of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). The vote was 12 to 10, according to Terry Speigner, chairman of the committee, who said he was runner-up.
"I wish him well," Speigner said.
If approved, Hall, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2010, would serve the remainder of Alston's four-year term, which expires in 2014.
In June, an Anne Arundel County jury found Alston guilty of misconduct in office and of stealing $800 from the General Assembly to pay an employee of her private law firm. A judge gave her a one-year suspended jail sentence last month and ordered her to complete 300 hours of community service.
Alston also struck a deal with Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt to avoid a trial on separate charges of using campaign money to pay for some of her wedding expenses.
Alston is scheduled to appear in court Monday to try to have her sentence in the misconduct case modified. Anne Arundel Judge Paul Harris told Alston that he would consider wiping out the finding of guilt if she completed the required volunteer work and paid restitution.