Former Baltimore County Official Allegedly Stole Over $140,000 In Campaign Funds
BALTIMORE COUNTY - On Thursday, the Maryland State Prosecutor’s office charged a former Baltimore County official with stealing more than $140,000 from two political campaign accounts.
Charging documents allege that William Christopher McCollum, 52, stole $111,014.89 from the campaign account of former Council member Cathy Bevins and $31,269.63 from a slate controlled by former Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr.
“Treasurers of campaign finance committees have an important role in ensuring funds raised to support a political candidate, or candidates are used to support the purpose of the campaign,” State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III said. “Our office strives to hold individuals in positions of public trust in the electoral process accountable if they violate that trust for personal gain.”
McCollum, former head of the “Baltimore County Ag Center,” faces charges of felony theft, embezzlement, and perjury, according to the Maryland State Prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutors allege that McCollum took money from the “Friends of Cathy Bevins” fundraising account between April 23, 2015, and January 31, 2020. Additionally, between May 27, 2015, and December 14, 2018, McCollum stole from Smith’s Baltimore County Victory Slate.
Charging documents allege that McCollum used Bevin’s money to write checks from the campaign to vendors that would then be deposited into his account instead.
He used campaign funds to travel to Puerto Rico and Palm Beach, Fla., with a “romantic partner.” These expenditures were not listed on the campaign reports filed with the State Board of Elections.
According to charging documents, McCollum engaged in similar schemes using money from Smith’s Victory Slate.
McCollum was a low-level county employee until 2010 when he was appointed director of the Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park (Ag Center).
In 2020, he was moved to the Baltimore County economic development department. McCollum resigned from county government in 2021 due to a corruption investigation into Ag Center.
Baltimore Brew reports that McCollum made $29,670 in unauthorized expenditures during his time as director of the county’s Ag Center.
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