Traffic charges dropped against former mayoral candidate

May 12, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD


Traffic charges were dropped Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court against Roger Dean Weber, aka Charlie Baker, who still faces two election fraud charges stemming from his March 2005 run for Hagerstown mayor.

Weber, 61, was released from the Washington County Detention Center Thursday, a jail spokeswoman said. He had been held without bond at the jail since February on a charge that he failed to appear in Circuit Court in October 2005 on the traffic charges.

When Weber was arrested Feb. 15 on the Circuit Court bench warrant, he was served with a criminal summons charging him with misrepresentation of voter registration and voting under a false name. Since he was not arrested on the voter law violation charges, Weber did not go before a Washington County District Court Commissioner for placement of bond, a commissioner said Thursday.


On Thursday, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney John Dunlap dismissed the traffic charges - driving with an expired license, driving an uninsured vehicle, displaying registration plates issued for another vehicle and operating an unregistered vehicle - which stem from a January 2005 traffic stop on Garland Groh Boulevard, according to court records.

"Eighty-six days at the Washington County Detention Center is punishment enough for the (traffic) charges," Dunlap told Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III. "He faces two counts each of election fraud in Circuit Court and we'll be seeing him this fall."

Weber was not brought out from his holding cell for Thursday's hearing.

On his behalf, his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Stephen Musselman, said, "He'll accept that (dismissal) joyously."

Weber requested a jury trial on the election fraud charges, but no trial date has been set yet, according to court documents.

Weber, who ran under the name Charlie Baker in the Hagerstown primary in March 2005, registered to vote under the alias on Jan. 21, 2005, using a Hagerstown address, according to charging documents in the election fraud case.

The maximum sentence for voting under a false name is five years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine, and the maximum sentence for misrepresentation of voter registration is five years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.

Circuit Court records show Weber twice filed in Washington County to have his name changed to Charlie Baker. In both attempts, the cases were dismissed because Weber was denied waivers of filing fees and did not subsequently pay them.

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