February 5, 2023
Annapolis, US 32 F

Councilman Peroutka’s campaign manager charged with election law violations

Michael Peroutka

Maryland’s state prosecutor, Emmet Davitt, has charged two people for allegedly violating election law by failing to identify the source of a robocall in a 2014 Anne Arundel County Council race for District 5.

Dennis Fusaro, of Stephens City, Virginia, and Stephen Waters, of Greensboro, North Carolina, have been charged with violating and conspiring to violate authority line requirements of Maryland election law. Fusaro was the campaign manager for Councilman Michael Peroutka.
The robocall was directed to voters in Peroutka’s district encouraging voters to congratulate his opponent, Patrick Armstrong, for coming out as gay and championing LBGT rights. At the end of the call, the recording encouraged listeners to call Patrick and congratulate him and left the phone number of Armstrong’s mother.  The Capital has the recording on their website.
The call did not follow Maryland campaign laws and was made from a “burner phone” purchased at a Walmart in Virginia.
Councilman Michael Peroutka disavowed any knowledge of the call in a brief statement issued by his legislative aide, Phil Reeder.
Screenshot 2016-04-14 16.47.24
If found guilty, the two face a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 13.
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