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Grand Jury Indicts Baltimore Mayor
helpfindthem | January 9, 2009 at 02:14 pmby
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Grand Jury Indicts Baltimore MayorMayor Accused Of Perjury, Theft, Misconduct
January 9, 2009
BALTIMORE -- Maryland's state prosecutor said a grand jury has indicted Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on 12 counts of corruption as part of a long-running investigation that saw a councilwoman indicted earlier this week.The prosecutor's office announced the indictment on its Web site on the final day of a four-month grand jury session in which a City Council member and a prominent developer who once dated the mayor were indicted on public corruption charges. The indictment followed a three-year investigation by the state prosecutor's office into City Hall finances.In a 28-page report, Dixon was indicted on 12 counts of corruption, including four counts of perjury, two counts of misconduct, three counts of theft and three counts of fraudulent misappropriations. The theft and misappropriations charges stemmed from gift cards that were donated to the city for needy families, reported WBAL-TV in Baltimore.
The grand jury focused on gifts the mayor received from developer Ron Lipscomb, as well as the use of those gift cards by Dixon. Dixon did not report any gifts from Lipscomb on her financial disclosure forms.One allegation listed in the indictment said that on Dec. 16, 2004, 15 $50 Best Buy gift cards were purchased with cash by the city.
Two were used on Dec. 11, 2005, at the Best Buy store downtown by Sheila Dixon to purchase $237 worth of merchandise, including a PlayStation2 and DVDs.Investigators with the state prosecutor's office raided Dixon's house in June in search of evidence, with fur coats and documents among the targets. At that time, subpoenas were issued to five people who worked for Dixon when she was City Council president.
They were all told to appear before a grand jury."All I can tell you is I've cooperated with the prosecutors. I have no idea what they're looking for," Dixon said the day of the June 17 raid.Dixon became the city's 48th mayor in January 2007, succeeding Martin O'Malley. She served on the City Council for 12 years.Councilwoman Helen Holton and Lipscomb were indicted Wednesday on charges of bribery.According to the indictment, Lipscomb's company paid more than $12,000 for a public opinion poll for Holton as she considered her political future. The committee recommended tax breaks for Lipscomb's company while Holton was chairwoman. Both have said they did nothing illegal.