Tiffany Alston suspended after plea deal for misconduct

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A legal opinion by counsel to the Maryland General Assembly says a lawmaker has been suspended from office after entering a plea agreement to settle two separate criminal cases.

Dan Friedman, the assembly's counsel, sent the opinion on Wednesday to House Speaker Michael Busch, who asked for legal advice regarding the status of Delegate Tiffany Alston, a Prince George's County Democrat.

Friedman writes that Alston has been suspended from office by operation of law without pay or benefits.

Alston entered a plea deal on Tuesday to settle two separate cases brought by the state prosecutor's office. In June, a jury found her guilty of using $800 in state money to pay an employee in her law firm. She also pleaded no contest to using campaign money to pay wedding expenses.