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James Matthews Pleads Not Guilty To False Swearing Charge

By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Former Montgomery County Commissioner James Matthews has pleaded not guilty to a false swearing charge that was filed against him in connection with testimony he allegedly supplied to a grand jury investigating how county government does business.

The 63-year-old Lower Gwynedd resident waived his formal arraignment, pleading not guilty to the misdemeanor charge. He had been scheduled to appear in court next week for a formal reading of the charge.

During a preliminary hearing last month, a judge threw out a more serious perjury charge against Matthews, ruling that prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to take that charge to trial.

District attorney Risa Ferman says she still hasn’t decided whether she will re-file the perjury charge.

Matthews served three terms as a commissioner, but chose not to run for re-election last year.

His case will now be scheduled for trial. He remains free on bail and if convicted, could face a maximum of one to two years in jail.

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