An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge on Thursday denied a motion to acquit Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D-Prince George’s) on charges of theft and misconduct in office in advance of the case going to the jury.
The decision came at the end of the prosecution case in which Alston has been accused of stealing $800 in legislative funds to pay a young woman for work she allegedly did for Alston’s law firm in January 2011.
Such motions require a judge to view the case in the best possible light for the prosecution and are rarely granted. Following the ruling of Judge Paul F. Harris Jr., the defense started presenting witnesses.
A fourth day of testimony is scheduled Friday in a case Harris originally estimated would take five days.
On Wednesday, the employee in question, Rayshawn Ford, testified that she performed legislative work for Alston while working out of Alston’s law office in Lanham.
The Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor has presented testimony from investigators who said that Ford told them a different story.
In an evidentiary ruling Thursday, Harris said that he found Ford to be “not credible” based in part on the number of times she testified she did not remember things. His assessment was made outside the presence of the jury.