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Saum-Wicklein covers check

December 31, 1998|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hagerstown City Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein has paid her debt to a Hancock jewelry retailer who filed a criminal charge against her for writing a bad check last month, the Hancock retailer said Wednesday.

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During a telephone interview, David D. Smith, 29, owner of Diamonds Etc., said Saum-Wicklein gave him a certified check for $2,645 at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Smith said the money settles several outstanding debts between him and Saum-Wicklein, including a $2,365 bad check, which had prompted Smith to file charges.

Payment does not clear Saum-Wicklein of the charge.

The case is being handled by Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. and it will be up to Long to decide how to proceed, Smith said.

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"I will convey to the State's Attorney that I'm satisfied. He'll have to decide the rest," said Smith, who is running for a seat on the Hancock Town Council in a January election.

Long has declined to comment on the case.

Saum-Wicklein gave Smith a check for $2,365 on Nov. 25 to pay for jewelry she planned to sell at The Jeweler's Daughter, a Public Square jewelry shop Saum-Wicklein operates, according to allegations in criminal charging documents filed in Washington County District Court.

The bank returned the check to Smith and informed him there were insufficient funds to cover the check, according to court records.

Smith said he attempted to contact Saum-Wicklein on Dec. 4, 7, and 10. On Dec. 18 he filed criminal charges accusing Saum-Wicklein of knowingly writing a bad check.

When asked about the charges on Tuesday, Saum-Wicklein, 46, said she accidentally wrote Smith a bad check and believed they had agreed to work out the problem after Christmas.

"It was the middle of the Christmas season and I wasn't paying attention to the account. There was no malicious intent. It just happened," she said Tuesday.

Saum-Wicklein, a City Council member since 1989, did not return two telephone calls Wednesday.

Her case is scheduled to be heard in Washington County District Court on Feb. 18.

The maximum penalty for a conviction on a charge of knowingly writing a bad check for more than $300 is 15 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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