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City Council candidate Rev. Westley West charged with theft in Baltimore Co.

The Rev. Westley West, of Faith Empowered Ministries, blocks traffic on Pratt Street following the first motions hearing in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore Circuit Court on Sept. 2.
The Rev. Westley West, of Faith Empowered Ministries, blocks traffic on Pratt Street following the first motions hearing in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore Circuit Court on Sept. 2. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

The Rev. Westley West, who launched his campaign for Baltimore City Council on Sunday, was charged last week in Baltimore County with misdemeanor theft.

The 27-year-old Baltimore pastor was charged Dec. 29 with one count of theft under $1,000, according to online court records.

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Baltimore County prosecutor Adam Lippe said the charge stems from allegations that West used the bank account routing number of Elias Wilf Corp. on Dolfield Road in Owings Mills "to pay his own bills and send money to his church."

Lippe said West worked as a truck driver for the flooring company for a short period last summer. The amount allegedly stolen totaled more than $700, he said.

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West's attorney, Donald Wright, called the charge "a false accusation."

"He denies doing anything illegal or improper," Wright said.

A phone message left with a representative of the flooring company was not returned.

West is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 7th District seat held by Councilman Nick J. Mosby, who is running for mayor. West is pastor of Faith Empowered Ministries.

A trial date is scheduled for Feb. 22 in Baltimore County District Court.

In September, West was arrested after a protest during a pretrial hearing for the Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

West has said police targeted him because he was leading the protest and has called the charges "false." He was charged with attempting to incite a riot, malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct, disturbance of the peace, false imprisonment, and failure to obey for stopping traffic during a protest.

A trial in Baltimore Circuit Court is scheduled for Jan. 14 in that case.

"We are going to be going forward to win that case," Wright said.

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