Former Democratic lawmaker sentenced to prison for misusing funds

A former Democratic state lawmaker in Maryland was sentenced to six months in prison for taking money from her campaign for personal use.

Former Maryland Del. Tawanna Gaines, 67, was also given two months of home detention after she completes her prison sentence and must pay $22,565 in restitution.

“I took my oath very seriously, but I fell short,” she said in court on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Gaines is required to report to prison by Feb. 24.

Gaines, who served in the House of Delegates since 2001, pleaded guilty in October to wire fraud. She resigned days before her guilty plea.

She admitted to spending $22,000 in campaign donations on personal expenses, including an Amazon Prime membership, a cover for her swimming pool, hair appointments, and dental work.

Her daughter, Anitra Edmond, who was the campaign treasurer for her mother, pleaded guilty in November to a similar charge. Edmond is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

Gaines is the third Democratic state lawmaker from Prince George’s County to plead guilty or be convicted of misconduct in federal court since 2018. Former Dels. William Campos and Michael Vaughn are serving 4 1/2 and four years in prison, respectively, for accepting bribes from businesses to change the liquor store sales laws in the county.

*story by The Washington Examiner