BALTIMORE (APWJZ) — A Maryland lawmaker’s chief of staff has been charged with election law violations after prosecutors say he organized an illegal robocall.

The state prosecutor says Tyler Walch violated the “authority line” requirements of state election law while working on the 2018 campaign of Del. Richard Impallaria.

The Republican delegate represents parts of Baltimore and Harford counties.

Charges announced Thursday allege Walch distributed a robocall to roughly 9,000 residents focusing on Republican rival Kathy Szeliga before primary voting.

A voice posed as a transgender rights group donor described Szeliga as a “true friend.”

Prosecutors say the call didn’t make clear where it came from and allege Impallaria knew about it before it was sent.

Impallaria says he didn’t know about it ahead of time and Walch is still on his staff.

Delegate Kathy Szeliga released a statement in reaction to the announcement:

“All politics and personalities aside, willfully and knowingly misleading voters is shameful and wrong. Election laws exist for a reason, to protect the integrity of our elections. Beyond the act itself, the content of the call was insulting to voters and incredibly divisive. I’m old school, I believe anonymous acts are often a sign of cowardice. If you have something to say, and you believe what you’re saying, you should put your name on it.”

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