Prosecutors challenge Alston’s community service -- Gazette.Net



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The Maryland state prosecutor challenged the community service record of former Del. Tiffany Alston, arguing the number of hours Alston reported working was difficult to believe.

Alston (D-Dist. 24) of Mitchellville agreed to perform 300 hours of community service as part of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors Oct. 9. She pleaded no contest to a charge that she used money from her campaign account to pay personal expenses.

At a motions hearing Monday, at which Alstonís attorneys hoped to have an earlier guilty verdict for misusing General Assembly funds stricken, State Prosecutor Emmitt C. Davitt said he had doubts that Alston had worked numerous, sometimes consecutive, 15- to 18- hour days at a pair of community organizations in Prince Georgeís County.

Those hours included full work days during Hurricane Sandy — days when the governor had declared a state of emergency, Davitt said.

Alston testified that as a former litigator, she was used to working long days and wanted to complete her service hours quickly so she could work toward regaining her law license.

Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Paul Harris said the long hours Alston reported working raised doubts, but accepted that she had worked at least some of the hours. He cautioned Davitt that the prosecution needed to challenge a specific portion of the hours Alston reported rather than simply trying to cast doubt on her community service as a whole.

The hearing will continue Nov. 13.

dleaderman@gazette.net