Prince George’s delegate charged with wire fraud, resigns from Maryland General Assembly

Democratic Del. Tawanna Gaines, center, is shown during the 2015 Maryland General Assembly session with Del. Keith Haynes and Del. Adrienne A. Jones, who is now speaker of the House of Delegates. Gaines has resigned from the House of Delegates.

Federal prosecutors charged Prince George’s County Del. Tawanna P. Gaines on Monday with taking more than $22,000 from her campaign account for her personal use and she has resigned from Maryland General Assembly.

Gaines, a Democrat, is charged with wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. According to a filing by U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur, Gaines used a PayPal account that she controlled to take money from the Friends of Tawanna P. Gaines campaign finance account between 2015 and 2018. The PayPal account was not listed in Gaines’ campaign finance filings with the state, prosecutors alleged.


Gaines, 67, is expected to be scheduled for an initial appearance and arraignment Oct. 17, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones announced Monday that Gaines had resigned her seat in the House of Delegates on Friday.


“We have an obligation to uphold the public trust, both in office and in our campaigns. We cannot sacrifice that trust for personal gain for ourselves or our family members,” Jones said in a statement.

Maryland Policy & Politics


Keep up to date with Maryland politics, elections and important decisions made by federal, state and local government officials.

Gaines did not respond to a request for comment.

In her resignation letter, Gaines said she decided to resign “after much thought and consideration.” She did not mention the criminal investigation.

“Over the past 17 years, I have given my heart and soul to the citizens of the state of Maryland, working tirelessly for legislation that has supported the health and welfare of our constituents,” she wrote.

Gaines had been a member of the House since 2001 and served as vice chairwoman of the appropriations committee. Jones recently appointed Gaines to chair a subcommittee that reviews the state’s capital budget, a position Jones used to hold.

Gaines is also a former mayor and council member for the town of Berwyn Heights.

Gaines has incurred fines from the Maryland State Board of Elections for repeatedly missing campaign finance report filing deadlines. On her most recent campaign finance report from January, Gaines reported having a little more than $6,000 in her campaign account.

The Daily Record first reported Gaines’ resignation.