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Fraziers file new allegations against former tenants, both agree to drop all charges

In this file photo Taneytown Councilman Donald Frazier speaks at a mayor and City Council workshop on Sept. 5, 2018.
In this file photo Taneytown Councilman Donald Frazier speaks at a mayor and City Council workshop on Sept. 5, 2018. (Alex Mann / Carroll County Times file)

Taneytown City Councilman Donald Frazier was supposed to be tried Friday in Carroll County District Court for assault and burglary charges filed by a former tenant of his illegal basement apartment.

Instead, Frazier and his spouse, former commissioner Robin Frazier, filed new criminal charges against Stephanie Derita, the former tenant. Derita was served with charges of two counts of malicious destruction of property with more than $1,000 of value.

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Robin Frazier, in a written statement of charges, said Derita and her husband, Ray, purposefully caused extensive damage to the Fraziers’ basement after being evicted from the property in December.

The Deritas cut the plugs off a television belonging to the Fraziers, allowed their dog to relieve itself throughout the basement, smeared greasy food and feces into the carpet, left trash strewn about the space, damaged the porcelain sink, ripped a closet door from the frame, destroyed a set of drawers, and repeatedly drove a car through their lawn, Robin Frazier alleged.

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She estimated the Fraziers accrued more than $4,000 in damages from the Deritas’ actions, according to the written statement.

The carpet, sink, dresser and televisions would need to be replaced, she wrote, while the deep ruts in the lawn and closet door would need to be repaired. Other items the Deritas left would need to be taken to the landfill and would cost hundreds of dollars to discard, the statement detailed.

A tenant of Taneytown Councilman Donald Frazier has filed a criminal complaint against him after Frazier allegedly burst into her apartment and assaulted her Oct. 19, leaving the woman shaken and her young son hysterical, court records, a police report and a 911 recording show.

The Fraziers and Deritas agreed to drop all charges against each other and not to file other criminal or civil charges related to the matter.

Asked by Carroll County District Court Judge Brian Green whether she wanted to postpone the case, considering she had just been served new charges Friday, Stephanie Derita said, “I just don’t want to put my son through anything. I just want everything to be peaceful.”

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“Let’s all go forward peacefully,” Green concluded.

Derita, who filed filed criminal charges Oct. 19 alleging that the councilman burst into the apartment unannounced and assaulted her, said after exiting the courtroom that she wasn’t happy with the outcome.

“I didn’t want it to go this way,” she told the Times. “I wanted to prove a point of what he did and what he can’t get away with.”

Donald Frazier’s attorney David Ellin called the outcome practical.

Taneytown Councilman Donald Frazier has been fined more than $1,000 — and counting — by the city, having failed to resolve one of two code violations relating to his renting of a basement apartment in his Bentley Street home before the Dec. 7 deadline established by the city.

“[The Fraziers] just plan on moving forward with their lives,” Ellin told the Times.

“Case dismissed and I'm happy about that,” Donald Frazier wrote Friday after court in the subject line of an email sent to the Times otherwise unrelated to the case.

As a result of the criminal charges Derita filed in October, the city of Taneytown discovered that Frazier had illegally modified the basement of his Bentley Street home to accommodate apartments.

Taneytown’s code prohibits “rental of rooms/apartments” in the R-10,000 district where Fraziers’ home is located and precludes renovations to create additional dwellings, like “dedicated sanitary and cooking facilities,” a November notification letter from the city detailed.

The city began leveling fines of $100 per day against Frazier in December because one of the city code violations remained unresolved, city officials said at the time. It was unclear Friday whether that matter has been settled.

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