Southeastern PA

County Commissioner faces charges for lying under oath

County Commissioner faces charges for lying under oath

A former Montgomery County Commissioner is headed to trial on a misdemeanor charge of lying under oath.

Jim Matthews, the brother of MSNBC political commentator Chris Matthews, also faced a perjury charge for allegedly lying to a grand jury but the judge in the case threw it out.

Matthews will now go to trial on that misdemeanor charge. This case was brought to light after a grand jury investigation into political corruption.

Mathews wasn't charged for any wrong doing but because the grand jury believed he lied under oath about a relationship he had with a company that did business with the county.

Matthews attorney said the indictments are unfounded.

During a preliminary hearing on perjury and false swearing charges, Matthew's attorney questioned investigators about Matthews grand jury testimony.

The indictment said Matthews allegedly lied by minimizing his relationship with the owners of a company that was awarded a title insurance contract with the county.

Matthews attorney said his client didn't minimize the relationship with Certified Abstract saying Matthews spoke of a personal relationship with the owners and volunteered documents during questioning.

But one detective testified the owner of that company received several calls from Matthews prior to being questioned by investigators and was reluctant to cooperate with the investigation afterward.

The prosecution said those calls were a violation of a gag order.

Matthews attorney said Matthews was only told not to reveal his testimony before the grand jury.

In the end, the judge threw out the felony perjury charges. Mathews will now stand trial on false swearing, a misdemeanor.

Since being indicted last fall, Matthews resigned his seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners but vowed to serve the remainder of his term.

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