Gaines, 67, abruptly resigned from the House of Delegates this month. She began her statehouse career when she was appointed to a vacant seat in 2001 as a Democrat representing Prince George’s County. Gaines admitted to using $22,000 in campaign donations to pay for personal items such as dental work, hair appointments and an Amazon Fire TV stick.
Edmond served as the treasurer for the “Friends of Tawanna P. Gaines” candidate committee starting in 2005, according to court records. Between November 2012 to about June 2018, Edmond violated Maryland campaign finance laws by taking funds from the political account for her personal use, according to a criminal information filed by the U.S. attorney’s office for Maryland. The court filing does not detail how Edmond allegedly spent the money but notes that if she is convicted, the government plans to require her to forfeit at least $35,188.
Stuart A. Berman, an attorney for Edmond, declined to comment when reached Tuesday. Edmond has not yet entered a plea, according to court filings. An initial appearance and arraignment has been scheduled for Nov. 18.
Gaines is set to be sentenced on Jan. 3. She could face eight to 33 months in prison, based on sentencing guidelines, and as part of her plea agreement she must pay $22,565.03 in restitution.
The day of her plea hearing, Gaines apologized to her colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly and said she took “full responsibility” for her actions.
Gaines became the third Democratic state lawmaker from Prince George’s who has pleaded guilty or been convicted of misconduct in federal court since 2018. Former delegates Michael Vaughn and William A. Campos are serving four and 4½ years in federal prison, respectively, for accepting bribes from businesses seeking legislation that would expand liquor store sales in Prince George’s County.
Ovetta Wiggins contributed to this report.