State prosecutor Rohrbaugh retires

Dixon investigation led to her resignation

April 19, 2010|By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun

State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh, whose investigation of former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon led to her resignation, said Monday that he will retire when his six-year term expires in September.

Rohrbaugh said his tenure fighting corruption in the state has been "very difficult" and he is "not a fan" of politicians.

"We really don't have the funding, we don't have the tools, the right statutes," Rohrbaugh said in an interview. "Many, if not most, of the judges are very liberal."

In January, Rohrbaugh, who was appointed by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., secured a plea deal with Dixon that resulted in her resignation. A jury found her guilty of stealing gift cards from the poor, though as part of her deal she did not admit guilt and kept her $83,000 pension.

The deal came after a nearly four-year probe that focused on City Hall spending while Dixon was president of the City Council. Two Baltimore developers also pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations. A judge threw out a bribery case against a councilwoman, though the appeal is set to be argued before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in early May.

Rohrbaugh did not mention the City Hall corruption cases in his resignation letter and said in an interview that the most satisfying accomplishment was his prosecution of Gilbert Sapperstein, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to bribing a city schools employee.

In that case, Rohrbaugh recovered $5 million in taxpayer funds — an amount, he noted, that was four times his office's annual budget.

The office includes four attorneys and prosecutes public corruption cases and campaign finance violations. Budget cuts eliminated one vacant investigative position in his office.

Rohrbaugh plans to retire to his second home in Florida.

annie.linskey@baltsun.com

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