Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped criminal harassment charges that had been filed against Del. Jason Buckel, the top-ranking Republican in the Maryland House of Delegates.
A little more than a week earlier, a state trooper who is in a relationship with Buckel’s estranged wife had filed an application for a statement of charges alleging the delegate persistently sent him aggressive messages over the course of the year.
Over Facebook Messenger, Buckel warned the man to stay away from his wife and child, used expletives and promised to “bury” the man, according to the court filing.
After word of the charges started circulating in political circles, Buckel and the other man reached an agreement for the man to ask for the charges to be dismissed. Buckel, in turn, agreed not to make any complaints to the Maryland State Police about the other man.
When the man filed his application for a statement of charges, he listed a Maryland State Police barracks as his address and noted his badge number.
The case was handled by the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office at the request of Allegany County’s prosecutor. Buckel represents Allegany County in the legislature and works as an attorney based in Cumberland.
Buckel described the charges as part of a difficult personal matter that spilled out into public view. He has said that the fact that the other man was willing to drop the charges shows that there was little merit to the complaint.
Since April, Buckel has served as the House minority leader, responsible for leading Republican efforts in the House of Delegates.
The charges are playing a role in discord within the House Republican Caucus, with the second-ranking Republican, Del. Christopher Adams of the Eastern Shore, resigning from his post this week and announcing a challenge to Buckel.