Former Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false swearing. He also waived his formal arraignment Wednesday, and his case will be scheduled for trial later this year. A district judge dismissed a felony charge of perjury last month.
Both charges stemmed from allegations that Matthews lied to a grand jury about the relationship between his family’s mortgage company and a title firm, known as Certified Abstract. The grand jury report said he made misrepresentations on his statement of financial interest, a form that all elected officials are required by law to complete.
In dismissing the more serious charge, the judge found that his alleged lies were not material to the grand jury investigation. The probe centered around campaign contributions and county contracts, but the grand jury did not find sufficient evidence of criminality there. Matthews is a 63-year-old Lower Gwynedd resident who has said he absolutely did not lie to the grand jury.