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Arrest warrant issued for former Hagerstown mayoral candidate

October 25, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

A Washington County circuit judge on Monday issued an arrest warrant for a man who ran for mayor of Hagerstown this year under an alias.

Roger Dean Weber was scheduled to appear in court Monday morning on four traffic charges, but he didn't show up.

An attorney with the public defender's office said Weber would have had a chance to plead guilty to one count of having license plates registered to another vehicle; three other charges would have been dismissed.

Weber ran in the March mayoral primary under the name Charlie Baker and received 13 votes.

Herald-Mail research at the time revealed that his real name was Weber and that he registered to vote under a Hagerstown address but was living in West Virginia.

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On Jan. 5 - 16 days before he filed to run for mayor - Weber was charged with the traffic offenses. Specific allegations were not listed in the court file.

"Maybe he's not all there between the ears ...," Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III said in court Monday when a prosecutor mentioned Weber's background. "Maybe he's in his estate in West Virginia, or over in the CSX yard, or wherever he was when he ran for mayor."

Boone's warrant specified that Weber be held without bond, according to court records.

Court records show that Weber didn't appear Sept. 26, but he wasn't notified in advance that time.

Weber, 61, tried to legally change his name to Charlie Baker, citing a concern about identity theft.

"This is not an 'illegal' name, hence it is legal and I've used it since 1980," he wrote on an application.

In April, Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III denied Weber's request to waive a $105 filing fee. The case hasn't proceeded since then, according to court records.

Weber said during an election interview that he was arrested in the late 1960s and served federal prison time after being caught carrying marijuana into the country from Mexico.

Weber couldn't be reached by phone Monday. A Washington County phone number listed as his in the name-change court file automatically forwarded to a West Virginia phone number that was disconnected.

Several court cases of which he was a party list his address as a Williamsport post office box. When he registered to vote and run for office, he gave a Hagerstown apartment as his address.

In March, a Herald-Mail reporter discovered Weber living in a trailer in Sportsman's Paradise in Marlowe, W.Va. Berkeley County court documents showed he had lived there since at least December 2004.

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