GLENARDEN, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland mayor is indicted by a Prince George’s County grand jury after he allegedly secretly recorded private conversations while in office, Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard announced Tuesday.

Edward M. Estes, Mayor of Glenarden, Maryland, is charged with violating the Maryland Wiretap Statute and misconduct in office.

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Estes allegedly secretly recorded these private conversations between himself and others while performing his duties as mayor. The indictment claims he used his MacBook Apple computer.

Under Maryland law, unless a legal exception pertains, everyone in a private conversation must consent before any communication is recorded.

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If convicted of illegal recording, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, or both. If he is convicted of misconduct in office, he potentially faces any sentence that is deemed not to be cruel or unusual.

“When public officials use their role to act outside the law and clandestinely record individuals that believe they are engaged in private communications, they must be held accountable,” Howard said.

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Estes is scheduled for an initial arraignment on December 18, 2020.

CBS Baltimore Staff