Lawyers for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon will not ask a judge to jettison the theft charges against her but did file a 29-page motion on Friday requesting again that the perjury charges be dismissed.
Judge Dennis M. Sweeney ruled in May that similar perjury charges against the mayor could not stand because they were brought using tainted evidence that violate her legislative immunity.
Now, the judge will be asked to determine how broadly that immunity is defined.
Dixon has been charged with two counts of perjury for failing to report gifts from developer Ronald Lipscomb on her city ethics form. Lipscomb was seeking tax credits for various development projects from the city when he gave her furs, cash, designer clothes and paid for trips to Colorado, New York and Chicago. The two were dating at the time, and none of those items was reported.
She's also been charged with seven counts of theft related to taking gift cards intended for needy families.
Central to proving the perjury charges is establishing that Dixon was aware that Lipscomb was seeking the tax credits when she failed to disclose the gifts. Dixon, who was then City Council president, is required to report gifts of more than $50 from anyone with business before the city.
Prosecutors initially used the fact that Dixon had voted for the tax credits on the development projects to show that she knew of Lipscomb's work with the city.
In one instance, she and the developer left for a trip to New York shortly after she voted to approve a tax credit.
But the charges brought on that evidence were dismissed in May. Lipscomb later pleaded guilty to violating campaign rules in a separate case and agreed to cooperate in the investigation of Dixon. That allowed prosecutors to use his testimony, rather than her votes, as evidence that she was aware of the development projects.
Prosecutors indicted the mayor again in July, this time showing that Dixon attended a groundbreaking for one of the projects and using calendar entries to show that she attended meetings about the projects over the years.
In their filing Friday, Dixon's lawyers contend that, like her votes, those "official" events are also protected. The meetings, they say, were about proposed or pending legislation and point to an order written by a federal judge that says legislative immunity should be "read broadly."
A hearing on the matter is set for Wednesday.
Separately, Dixon's attorneys had asked for a two-day extension to file a motion to dismiss the seven theft-related charges, but Sweeney denied that motion this week.
Dale P. Kelberman, a Dixon lawyer, said the ruling would not affect the defense strategy because lawyers did not plan to file a motion to dismiss those charges. "It didn't matter," Kelberman said. "We chose not to file anything."