The Washington Post

Former Md. delegate Alston meets with O’Malley in bid to get her job back

Del. Tiffany Alston (D-Prince George’s) talked with the media last month after she agreed to a pretrial deal that state prosecutors said will lead to her immediate suspension from the Maryland House of Delegates. (Mark Gail — For The Washington Post)

It seems that Tiffany Alston, the former Prince George’s County delegate, is choosing diplomacy over litigation — at least for now — in her quest to get her old job back in Annapolis.

Alston, who was removed from state office last month, met privately on Wednesday with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to press her case that she should be reinstated.

O’Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guillory confirmed the meeting but said: “As to the substance of the meeting, I’m not going to discuss it.”

The meeting came one day after an Anne Arundel County judge modified Alston’s sentence on a misconduct in office charge to probation before judgment, essentially wiping out the guilty finding by a jury in June, effective Tuesday.

Alston was convicted in June of stealing $800 from the General Assembly to pay an employee of her private law firm

After the court proceedings on Tuesday, Alston’s attorneys said she is prepared to sue to return to the State House. Alston’s lawyers took issue with a legal opinion from the General Assembly’s lawyer that found Alston’s removal from office at the time of sentencing was “permanent.”

After her court appearance, Alston, who did not speak to reporters, went to the State House and met briefly with House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel). A representative for Busch declined to comment on the meeting.

In a statement Tuesday, Busch indicated that he was sticking with his lawyer’s advice — meaning he still considers Alston “permanently removed.”

Prince George’s County Democrats have selected a local businessman, Greg Hall, to replace Alston. O’Malley has until around Thanksgiving to approve the nomination.

But some local Democrats are raising questions about Hall’s own legal record. He has acknowledged facing drug and handgun possession charges 20-plus years ago.

Ann covers legal affairs in the District and Maryland for the Washington Post. Ann previously covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. She joined the Post in 2005.
John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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