Former state Del. Rick Impallaria pleaded guilty in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Friday to misconduct in office for misusing state funds, according to a news release from the office of Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III.
Impallaria, a Republican, served District 7 representing Harford and Baltimore counties from 2002 until Jan. 11. He lost his reelection bid in the 2022 midterm election.
According to the release, Impallaria had rented a personal cottage on Punte Lane in Essex in Baltimore County since 2002. From 2004 to 2012, he also leased a district office on Clayton Road in the 7th District. But beginning in 2012, he notified the General Assembly that he was terminating the lease on the Clayton Road office and was opening a new “district office” on Punte Lane, in a building next to his cottage; both buildings were owned by the same landlord. He then began using funds from the General Assembly to pay rent on his cottage and the new office.
As a member of the General Assembly, Impallaria was permitted to have a district office within his district primarily to be used for legislative business. However, his new “district office” on Punte Lane was outside Impallaria’s district. And, the building was used not for legislative purposes, but to store Impallaria’s personal belongings, according to the news release.
In July 2012, after a decade of making monthly rent payments on his personal cottage, Impallaria stopped paying the rent for the cottage, which he continued to occupy. That was the same month the General Assembly began making payments for the new “district office,” according to the news release.
The amount of rent paid for that office was double the amount that other tenants in the community were paying. However, rent ledgers from the landlord indicate that the monthly payments Impallaria received from the General Assembly were split between his cottage and the neighboring building.
In all, the state paid $92,800 in rent for Impallaria’s “district office” between July 2012 and May 2022. Impallaria paid no rent for his cottage during the same period. Monthly rent payments from the General Assembly for the cottage from that period totaled $44,100, according to the news release.
“The public needs to trust that elected officials are good stewards of the State’s resources,” Howard said, according to the release. “Our office will continue to work toward ensuring that those individuals who abuse their positions of trust are held accountable.”
Judge Stacy McCormick scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 21.