State Representative Wayne Matewsky of Everett was arrested at his home on Friday morning on a civil warrant for failing to pay $446 owed to a former campaign worker.
The first-term Democrat was taken into custody by a constable. He was arraigned in Malden District Court before Judge Lee Johnson.
Matewsky paid the outstanding bill in court, and the case was dismissed, according to the clerk’s office.
In a brief telephone interview on Friday afternoon, Matewsky said the arrest was part of a “smear campaign.”
“I paid the guy two checks and he didn’t cash the second one,” said Matewsky, 55, a former Everett common councilor. “I consider the matter closed.”
But Brian Durkin, the former campaign worker, disputed Matewsky’s assertion.
“He never sent me a second check,” Durkin said in an interview on Friday. “He paid me $400 in cash. He didn’t have the other $46, and I told the judge, ‘He must need that more than I do.'”
Durkin filed a complaint against Matewsky in Malden District Court seeking $2,700 for signmaking services he provided to Matewsky’s campaign last spring.
A clerk court reduced the amount to $842. Matewsky was found to be in default, after he failed to appear for a payment review hearing on Jan. 16.
A civil warrant was issued. Durkin hired a constable to arrest him. “I felt it was the right thing to do. He owed me this money,” Durkin said.
Matewsky’s arrest is the latest controversy to involve him since he was elected last April to fulfill the unexpired term of former State Representative Stephen “Stat” Smith, who resigned after pleading guilty to charges of absentee ballot fraud. Smith was sentenced to four months in federal prison, and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.
Last March, on the night after he won the Democratic nomination, Matewsky was accused of berating employees at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Everett. Staff said Matewsky used profanities after complaining about being seated near a special needs child.
Matewsky strongly disputed the charges, but accepted a reprimand issued last April from his then-colleagues on the Everett Common Council.
Kathy McCabe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe.