Dixon ignores duty

December 05, 2009|By Andrew A. Green

In response to calls from throughout the city for an explanation of her actions and her plans for her future in office after her conviction Tuesday on one count of embezzlement, Mayor Sheila Dixon made this statement Thursday:

"I am reflecting on the trial's outcome, talking with advisors and reviewing my options. I understand that the trial has engendered a range of strong feelings among citizens who, like me, love Baltimore City. I deeply regret that the citizens of Baltimore have had to go through this ordeal with me.

"While I recognize that the issues before me go beyond the courtroom, my attorneys have advised me to limit my comments while the legal process continues.

"In the meantime, my administration and I will continue to do the people's business without interruption, and we will continue to act in the best interests of the City."

First, one would hope that Ms. Dixon regrets more than the fact that the citizens of Baltimore had to witness her trial and conviction. Even if she disputes the legal finding of guilt against her, even if she sticks with her story that she thought the blank envelope of gift cards that wound up on her desk was an anonymous present from a boyfriend, one would hope she might be able to cough up some regret for how she handled herself in office. She might regret not asking any questions about where the cards came from. She might regret ever getting into the business of soliciting them from developers doing business with the city. She might regret the completely unaccountable Holly Trolley tour. She might even regret ever having dated Ron Lipscomb in the first place. But forcing the poor citizens of Baltimore watch their mayor go through a difficult couple of weeks is the least of it.

Second, she says she recognizes that "the issues before me go beyond the courtroom," but apparently she doesn't care. The mayor is sticking with the advice of her lawyers in how to manage the courtroom issues and ignoring the citizens' legitimate desire to hear her explain her actions and justify her decision to attempt to stay in office. If she wants to "continue to act in the best interests of the city," providing real, honest answers to the people would be a good place to start.

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