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Bribery

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NEWS
September 5, 2010
State Sen. Ulysses Currie, chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, is innocent until proven guilty — but his day in court is finally coming. Last week, the results of a lengthy federal investigation came to fruition: a 48-page indictment charging him with taking nearly a quarter-million dollars in bribes to use his influence on behalf of the Shoppers Food & Pharmacy chain. That Mr. Currie worked diligently on behalf of Shoppers is unlikely to be in dispute.
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NEWS
January 1, 2014
What do four articles ("Two campaigns asked to halt fundraising during assembly," Dec. 30, "Gansler recused himself from election ruling," Dec. 22, "Campaign ruling prompts lawsuit," Dec. 27 and "A lawyer who knows fundraising," Dec. 29), plus one editorial ("Arbitrary, ineffective," Dec. 23), all add up to? The General Assembly and the politicians who claim they want campaign financial reform are a bunch of phonies. What I find striking is The Sun's acknowledgment that "there's some truth to critics' contention that campaign contributions are like legalized bribery, and if that's the case during the legislative session, isn't it also the case during the other 335 days of the year?"
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NEWS
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2010
The state senator accused of bribery is set to make his first appearance in federal court at a hearing Sept. 17. Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George's County Democrat, is expected to plead not guilty. The senator was indicted last week for allegedly accepting $245,000 in payments from Shoppers Food Warehouse in exchange for his help removing state bureaucratic hurdles. He stepped down from his position as chair of the senate's Budget and Taxation Committee to focus on his defense.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2012
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Monday requested a meeting with Wal-Mart officials in response to allegations that the retailer covered up a bribery scheme to expand its business in Mexico. In a letter to Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke, the Baltimore Democrat says he is opening an investigation into allegations raised in a story over the weekend by The New York Times and asked the company to schedule a meeting with lawmakers to discuss the issue by Friday.
NEWS
June 28, 2008
A former general manager of Siemens Building Technology's Baltimore office was convicted of conspiracy to bribe a University of Maryland Baltimore County official, state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office announced yesterday. Scott Allan Wallick, 53, pleaded guilty for his role in the attempted bribery of George Alinsod, a former UMBC manager of construction services, over a period of six years. Prosecutors say that Wallick allowed sales engineers working under him to pad contracts with the university with extra expenses, allowing them to create a slush fund, which they used to buy Alinsod gifts.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | July 13, 2011
City Councilwoman Helen Holton's three-year battle against allegations of bribery and perjury came to a close Wednesday as Maryland's highest court upheld a Baltimore judge's decision to dismiss the most serious charges against her. The 5-2 ruling Wednesday ends the case against the West Baltimore Democrat, whom state prosecutors had accused of accepting $12,500 for a campaign poll from a pair of developers in exchange for voting on tax breaks for...
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2011
After a six-week trial and three days of deliberation, a Maryland jury acquitted Sen. Ulysses S. Currie and two grocery chain executives Tuesday of federal extortion and bribery charges, ending years of criminal suspicion surrounding the Prince George's County Democrat. But the state senator still faces an ethical inquiry by the General Assembly, which could recommend penalties ranging from a reprimand to expulsion. Currie was indicted last year, alongside two former Shoppers Food Warehouse employees, after a lengthy investigation into allegations that they used a community-relations consulting contract to conceal a bribery scheme in which Currie accepted payment in exchange for legislative favors.
NEWS
April 28, 2006
Two more people have been indicted as part of the Maryland state prosecutor's probe into allegations of corruption and bribery in the Baltimore school system's facilities and maintenance department. David J. Clemons, 59, of Bel Air and Harriet E. Fostervold, 55, of Owings Mills are accused of bribing Rajiv Dixit, a former schools facilities manager who is now serving a five-year prison sentence, according to the state prosecutor's office. Dixit has admitted participating in two schemes to steal millions from the city schools, including by submitting inflated boiler-repair invoices.
NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | November 25, 1998
A federal appeals court has upheld the bribery conviction of Baltimore housing contractor Larry E. Jennings Sr., saying his boasting about influence with a city manager was "a classic sign of bribery."In his 27-page opinion, filed last week, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge M. Blane Michael also rejected Jennings' claim that the trial judge gave erroneous instructions to jurors. Michael said the instructions were sufficient.Jennings was convicted in 1995 of making payments totaling $6,500 in 1993 to Charles Morris, who supervised a Baltimore Housing Authority no-bid program to repair rundown homes.
NEWS
By CLARA GERMANI and CLARA GERMANI,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | October 11, 1995
MOSCOW -- Need a business license? Try giving a nice six-place china set to a municipal clerk. For one recent applicant, was the necessary creative touch.Hoping to dodge the draft on your 18th birthday? An $800 doctor's office visit will buy you a bad case of asthma. Because in Russia, bribery is a way of life.Tips or gifts will buy a place at the head of the motor vehicle registration line. They will gain a willing ear from apartment landlords; they will secure a child's place in a sought-after public school piano class.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2011
State Sen. Ulysses Currie may have walked out of Baltimore's federal courthouse Tuesday a free man, but it was hardly the clean sweep that the jurors' verdict of not guilty on all counts might indicate. Jurors said after emerging from the courthouse that there seemed to be a conflict of interest or unethical behavior stemming from Currie's dual roles as Shoppers Food Warehouse's man in Annapolis at the same time that he chaired the Senate's powerful Budget and Taxation Committee. But they stopped short of convicting him of a federal crime.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2011
After a six-week trial and three days of deliberation, a Maryland jury acquitted Sen. Ulysses S. Currie and two grocery chain executives Tuesday of federal extortion and bribery charges, ending years of criminal suspicion surrounding the Prince George's County Democrat. But the state senator still faces an ethical inquiry by the General Assembly, which could recommend penalties ranging from a reprimand to expulsion. Currie was indicted last year, alongside two former Shoppers Food Warehouse employees, after a lengthy investigation into allegations that they used a community-relations consulting contract to conceal a bribery scheme in which Currie accepted payment in exchange for legislative favors.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2011
Jurors deliberating in the federal bribery trial of state Sen. Ulysses S. Currie and two former grocery chain executives sent a note to the judge Monday, indicating that at least some of them believe a conspiracy may have occurred, though not for the length of time alleged in the indictment. The note read: "If we believe the conspiracy was not in effect in Dec. 2002 (or even Jan. 2003), but might have started at a later date [possibly as much as two years later], can we find any of the defendant's guilty on count one?"
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2011
Jurors had yet to reach a verdict Friday, after their first full day of deliberation, in the bribery trial against Maryland Sen. Ulysses S. Currie and two retired executives from Shoppers Food Warehouse, who are accused of paying the Prince George's County politician $246,000 over five years for legislative favors. They began deliberation about 10 a.m. and left for the day at 5 p.m. with instructions to return Monday morning. Most attorneys involved in the case said they had cleared their schedules through at least Tuesday in anticipation of a days-long deliberation.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2011
Defense and government lawyers in the bribery trial of Maryland Sen. Ulysses S. Currie sparred for hours Thursday during final arguments, each side accusing the other of misstating the facts, then exhibiting outrage at the opponent's allegations. The federal case was handed over to the jury for deliberation Thursday afternoon. Joseph L. Evans, Currie's public defender, said that representing the 74-year-old politician was the "proudest" moment of his professional career - a "privilege" - because of his client's character as a "decent, honorable and forthright" individual.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | October 26, 2011
Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. testified Wednesday on behalf of state Sen. Ulysses S. Currie, calling him "a gentleman" and "very friendly. " Ehrlich, a Republican, and Currie, a Democrat, were elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1986, a circumstance that Ehrlich said led to a lasting relationship. Ehrlich said he has "always found [Currie] to be a gentleman" and "somebody willing to work with us on most occasions. " The former governor was the first Republican on a lengthy list of Annapolis politicians to testify as character witnesses for Currie, who is facing bribery charges.
NEWS
August 26, 1994
A former clerk of the Baltimore office of the FBI was indicted yesterday on two counts of bribery for allegedly providing confidential information in exchange for $400.Shawnda S. Waters, 23, of Woodlawn, accepted the two $200 bribes Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 for revealing information from the FBI's computerized database, the indictment from the U.S. attorney's office alleges. She was fired Aug. 15.If convicted, Ms. Waters would face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each felony count.
NEWS
By Bruce Reid and Bruce Reid,Staff Writer | October 29, 1993
A father and son from Elkton were arrested yesterday and charged with attempting to bribe a Cecil County commissioner in a rezoning matter.Stephen Montanarelli, the state prosecutor, said the two men allegedly offered a "significant" amount of money to Commissioner W. Edwin Cole Jr. in July.At the time of the alleged bribe, the men were seeking to have their farmland on Old Elk Neck Road re-zoned so they could operate a tire-recycling business, Mr. Montanarelli said.John P. Martinuk, 71, and his son, Joseph P. Martinuk, 31, were arrested by State Police yesterday at George's Restaurant and Bar in Elkton.
NEWS
By Lynn McLain | September 28, 2011
When one of Charles Dickens' characters said, "The law is an ass," he could easily have been referring to the recent Maryland Court of Appeals decision that makes it practically impossible for the state to prosecute legislators for taking bribes - unless, perhaps, they are caught on video or with a wired informant. Instead of taking the opportunity to put teeth in the state bribery law, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the indictment against Baltimore City Councilwoman Helen B. Holton on the grounds of "legislative privilege.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2011
Jury selection in the federal bribery and extortion trial of Maryland Sen. Ulysses Currie and two Shoppers Food Warehouse executives opened Monday with the judge reading aloud a who's who in state politics. Gov. Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. are among the more than two dozen former and current state leaders who are either likely to be mentioned during the lengthy trial or called to testify, according to U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett.
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