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Former candidate charged with voting violations

March 01, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - A man who ran for mayor of Hagerstown under a false name in the primary election in March 2005 has been charged through a criminal summons with misrepresenting his voter registration and voting under a false name, Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Paul Kifer said Tuesday.

Roger Dean Weber, aka Charlie Baker, was arrested Feb. 15 on a Washington County Circuit Court bench warrant - charging him with failing to appear for a court hearing in October 2005 - and was charged through a criminal summons with the voter law violations, Kifer said.

Weber, 61, of no fixed address, was being held without bond Tuesday at the Washington County Detention Center, a jail spokeswoman said.

Kifer said Weber was arrested Feb. 15 in the 500 block of Northern Avenue. Detectives had applied for the voter law violation charges Jan. 20, 2006, but were waiting for the county Office of the State's Attorney to help them determine which charges Weber should face, he said.

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Weber was charged with misrepresenting any fact relating to voter registration and willfully and knowingly voting under a false name, Kifer said.

"Election laws aren't something we get into very often," Kifer said.

Weber registered to vote Jan. 21, 2005, under a Hagerstown address, Kifer said. The department initiated its investigation into alleged voter law violations March 9 after The Herald-Mail reported that Weber had filed under an alias and was living in West Virginia, which made him ineligible to be mayor.

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

"Charlie Baker" was still listed on the primary election ballot. He received 13 votes.

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

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.

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

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III issued a bench warrant for Weber's arrest at the October hearing after Weber failed to appear, ordering that Weber be held without bond upon his apprehension.

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