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Tiffany Alston
1tiffany alston.jpg
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 24th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 2011
Preceded by Joanne C. Benson
Personal details
Born (1977-04-22) April 22, 1977 (age 37)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kendal Gray
Children one child
Residence Mitchellville, Maryland
Occupation Attorney (license suspended)
Religion Christian

Tiffany Alston is an American politician who represented Prince George's County District 24 in the Maryland House of Delegates from January 2011 to January 2013.

Background[edit]

Delegate Alston was born in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and grew up in Prince George's County. She attended Seat Pleasant Elementary School, where, as a fifth grader, she was one of 55 students to be promised a full college scholarship upon high school graduation by Abe Pollin, then owner of the Capital Centre, Washington Bullets and Washington Capitals and businessman Melvin Cohen. In high school, she served three out of four years as class president. She was also a cheerleader, member of the International Baccalaureate program and served as editor of the newspaper.[1]

In the legislature[edit]

Alston had been a member of House of Delegates since January 12, 2011 and served on the Judiciary committee. She was a member of the Prince George's County Delegation, the Women's Caucus, and the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.[1]

Marriage equality[edit]

During the 2011 legislative session, Alston was a co-sponsor of HB 175-Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.[2] A similar bill was filed in the Maryland Senate (SB 116-Civil Marriage Protection Act)[3] and was assigned to the House Judiciary committee, the committee on which Alston serves. During the committee voting session on SB 116, Alston revoked her co-sponsorship and instead offered an amendment to change the bill from same-sex marriage to civil unions. The amendment failed and Alston then voted against the bill.[4][5] Despite Alston's vote, SB 116 was approved by the committee 12-10 and was forwarded to the full House of Delegates for final approval, but the bill was eventually sent back to committee, effectively terminating the bill for the session.

Criminal charges[edit]

Alston was indicted in an Anne Arundel County courtroom with embezzlement on September 24, 2011; her charges, laid by the state prosecutor, include one count each of felony and misdemeanor theft, misappropriation by a fiduciary and two election law offenses. She is alleged to have used Maryland General Assembly funds and her election campaign funds to cover her wedding expenses, to pay an employee of her law firm, and for personal use.[6] Alston denied wrongdoing in the case.[7]

Alston was found guilty of misdemeanor theft of General Assembly funds and misconduct in office on June 12, 2012. The conviction carries a jail sentence of up to 18 months. The judge postponed sentencing until after a separate trial, scheduled for October 2012, on the charges regarding Alston's use of her 2010 campaign funds to pay her wedding-related expenses, pay a law firm employee and write a check to herself.[8] On October 9, 2012, Alston entered a plea deal and was given a suspended sentenced of one year in jail, and ordered to pay $800 in restitution to the General Assembly and complete 300 hours of community service.[9][10][11] On October 10, 2012, General Assembly Counsel Daniel A. Friedman announced that Alston was suspended from her office without pay or benefits due to a Maryland constitutional provision.[10]

Bankruptcy filing[edit]

Although prosecutors were unaware of her bankruptcy, they said during her trial that her law firm had bounced dozens of checks. “We portrayed all along that her finances were in a shambles,” said Emmet Davitt, the prosecutor on the case.

In her filing, Alston listed as her personal property the $100 she had in her pocket, $50 she had in a personal checking account at Industrial Bank, a sofa, two beds, four chairs, a television, and a 2005 Saab that had 90,000 miles. She listed her income as $3,597 a month. Her monthly expenses were $5,993.

Her list of debts included $132,137 she owed Sallie Mae for student loans; $20,664 she owed on her car loan; more than $4,400 to the state of Maryland; $3,800 she owed AT&T Mobility, Verizon and Pepco; and $3,500 she owed to a Lanham karate school.

Parker, her former law partner, accused her of charging more than $35,000 in personal expenses to their firm in a complaint filed in 2008 in Prince George’s County Circuit Court. Alston, in her response to the complaint that she filed with the court, denied that the charges were personal.

Parker also found that Alston had put $24,496 in charges on the firm’s line of credit at M&T Bank, about $17,000 of which Parker said she had not agreed to, according to the complaint. Parker also learned that the bank account that funded the firm’s day-to-day operations was overdrawn by $5,700.

Parker and Alston dissolved their partnership in December 2007, after which Parker filed the lawsuit.

They settled their dispute in 2009. Alston agreed to pay Parker $20,695, according to court records. Nine months later, Alston declared bankruptcy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "House of Delegates". Maryland Manual. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "House Bill 175". Maryland General Assembly. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "SENATE BILL 116". Maryland General Assembly. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Wagner, John (4 March 2011). "House panel passes same-sex marriage bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Hill, David (4 March 2011). "Maryland House panel passes gay marriage bill". Washington Times. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Md. state lawmaker accused of using campaign funds to cover wedding expenses". Associated Press via Washington Post. September 23, 2011. [dead link]
  7. ^ Aaron C. Davis (Posted at 01:09 AM ET, 09/24/2011). "Alston denies wrongdoing". Washington Post.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Siegel, Andrea (June 12, 2012). "Alston convicted of theft, misconduct in office". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Alford plea: State v. Alston". Office of the State Prosecutor of Maryland. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Marimow, Ann E. (October 10, 2012). "Del. Tiffany Alston suspended from office, General Assembly lawyer says". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ Marimow, Ann E. (October 10, 2012). "Pr. George’s Del. Tiffany Alston strikes deal just before trial was to begin". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffany_Alston — Please support Wikipedia.
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112 news items

Washington Post

Washington Post
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:54:03 -0800

Former Maryland Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Prince George's) launched a comeback bid Tuesday night, arriving at the State Board of Elections to file for her old seat just 20 minutes before the 9 p.m. deadline. “There's a lot of unfinished business that ...

Washington Post

Washington Post
Wed, 26 Feb 2014 17:00:33 -0800

Former Maryland lawmaker Tiffany Alston's decision to try to reclaim her seat in the Maryland House of Delegates adds a well-known name to a crowded primary field and could draw renewed attention to the scandal that forced her from office. Alston (D ...

New York Times

New York Times
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 20:11:14 -0800

Tiffany Alston, who manages the northeast Bronx libraries, including the Westchester Square branch, said the current site is not as convenient for patrons, and its existing building has no elevator, only one bathroom, limited outlets and cramped spaces.
 
Baltimore Sun (blog)
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 18:26:15 -0800

Tiffany Alston, the former Prince George's County delegate who was ousted from her House seat in 2013 after a theft conviction, is running to get her old job back. Alston, a Democrat, filed her candidacy papers Tuesday night to seek a seat in the 24th ...
 
Washington Post
Tue, 25 Dec 2012 16:04:13 -0800

Tiffany Alston always made things go her way, even with the most difficult hurdles in her path. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, then earned a law degree and opened a law firm in Prince George's County. At 32, she entered ...
 
Baltimore Sun
Fri, 03 May 2013 18:41:44 -0700

Tiffany Alston, the former delegate from Prince George's County who was booted from the General Assembly last year, was disbarred Thursday. She consented to losing her license to practice law for reasons unrelated to receiving probation before judgment ...
 
Washington Post
Sun, 30 Dec 2012 16:13:35 -0800

Former Maryland State Del. Tiffany Alston declared bankruptcy seven months before she tried to use her campaign funds to cover her wedding expenses, according to court records. Alston's $182,758 in debts included $26,000 she owed her former law ...
 
WBAL Baltimore
Fri, 04 Jan 2013 14:11:21 -0800

BALTIMORE —Tiffany Alston, who has claimed she was robbed of her state House seat, took her case to Maryland's highest court to get her legislative job back and lost. Judge's ruling leaves House seat in limbo. A Prince George's County Circuit Court ...
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