Prosecutors in the Carlisle Borough, Pennsylvania said Tuesday that a 21-year-old tax collector, elected last year, was arrested for selling marijuana to an undercover police officer.
George T. Hicks, a Democrat who simultaneously became the Carlisle’s first African American tax collector and the youngest tax collector in the U.S. when he was voted into office as a junior in college at just 20-years-old, insisted that he was set up by police.
Despite his plea, Hicks also told local media that he does use marijuana medicinally to relieve stress, and admitted that he did in fact “help” an employee with “something.”
Medical marijuana is not legal in Pennsylvania. Bills that would legalize its use have been submitted by Democrats during the last two sessions, but they have failed to gain traction with the large Republican majority.
Police said the sales were caught on surveillance video just outside Hicks’ office, located adjacent to the Cumberland County Courthouse in Carlisle. The office is responsible for collecting taxes not just for Carlisle, but for Cumberland County and the Carlisle Area School District too.
Officials told the local CBS affiliate, CBS 21 News, that there was no evidence that funds had been misused. A county judge has temporarily stripped Hicks of his tax collecting duties pending a hearing scheduled for next week that could force him to permanently forfeit his title.
He faces two felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance, according to Cumberland newspaper The Sentinel, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
This video is from CBS 21 News in Pennsylvania, broadcast Tuesday, August 7, 2012.
Photo: Screenshot via CBS 21 News.