Pursuing justice

Our view: Dixon should be judged after investigation

June 19, 2008

We welcome the vigilance of prosecutors pursuing evidence of possible public corruption, including this week's search of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's home. We also appreciate Ms. Dixon's calm acceptance of lengthy investigations of possible illegal acts involving her.

At the same time, we would remind all concerned that Mayor Dixon deserves the presumption of innocence and our encouragement as she pursues the public's business in coming weeks.

We expect the prosecutors to conclude their investigation with all due speed and decide whether to charge Ms. Dixon or walk away. Then, there will be more evidence and time enough to judge the mayor's past conduct. Questions about city work performed by Ms. Dixon's former campaign chairman and city contracts with Utech, a firm that employed Ms. Dixon's sister, have been outlined in The Sun. Other issues may yet come to light.

Regardless of the outcome, this investigation and other recent probes in Maryland offer an important reminder to elected officials that public dealings with friends, campaign contributors and relatives draw deserved suspicion and should be avoided.

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