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Investigators Raid Home of Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon


UPDATE

Baltimore Mayor Sheila A. Dixon was charged today by the state prosecutor in a 12-count indictment, becoming the city’s first sitting mayor indicted on criminal offenses.

Dixon was charged with four counts of perjury and two counts of theft over $500, as well as theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in office. The charges stem in part from gifts she received from former boyfriend and developer Ronald H. Lipscomb, who was also charged earlier this week.

Dixon, a Democrat, has been the target of a nearly three-year probe by State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh into corruption at City Hall, an investigation that has centered on allegations that Dixon has used her office to award lucrative contracts to various people including her sister, her then-boyfriend and her former campaign chairman.

In a statement released by her office this afternoon, Dixon said: “I am being unfairly accused. Time will prove that I have done nothing wrong, and I am confident that I will be found innocent of these charges. … I want to make it clear, though, that I will continue to put all of my energies into running the City of Baltimore during these perilous economic times.” Source: Baltimore Sun

I don’t quite know what to make of this yet, but it seems that many politicians in this country are engaging in highly questionable and sometimes criminal behavior. The latest politician’s house to be raided is Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon’s home. Dale P. Kelberman, Dixon’s attorney, said agents of the state prosecutor’s office issued a search warrant and arrived at the mayor’s Southwest Baltimore home at 6:30 a.m. Dixon was home with her two teenage children at the time. The investigators later took “various documents,” the attorney said in a statement. “We have not yet seen the affidavit in support of the search warrant so we don’t know what was authorized or why,” Kelberman said.

Sterling Clifford, the mayor’s chief spokesman, told the Baltimore Business Journal that he didn’t know why the prosecutors were interested in the contents of Dixon’s home. It was unclear what the prosecutors were looking for inside the brick residence in the Hunting Ridge neighborhood.
The early morning raid is evidence that a widely publicized investigation into City Hall spending has expanded.
In November, state investigators raided the offices of a Dixon supporter, Ronald Lipscomb, president of Doracon Contracting Inc., on Biddle Street. Seized were computers and financial data as part of an ongoing investigation swirling around City Hall. Dixon has attracted the attention of prosecutors during the past two years. The mayor, who previously served as City Council president, was dogged for approving a deal that provided financial compensation to a company that employed her sister, Janice Dixon.

Well, this is really embarrassing and I have to say that no matter how the mayor spins this, your house just doesn’t get raided by the authorities unless they are looking to implicate you in something. So, for her sake and her children’s sakes, I hope she hasn’t done anything criminal. It is nice to see a sister in such a position in the political world. It seems as though a few of our black political leaders, such as Ron Sailor and former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, are in the news for all the wrong reasons. Stay tuned, there will be more to come……

UPDATE

According to the Baltimore Sun, the investigation, which began after a series of articles detailed spending irregularities at City Hall, appears to be wide-ranging, including attempts to look into possible gifts to the mayor. State prosecutors have been seeking Dixon’s fur coats, for instance.

The Sun reported in 2006 that, as City Council president, Dixon voted on contracts that benefited her sister’s employer, Utech. The paper also reported that Dixon’s former campaign chairman, Dale G. Clark, was paid $500,000 over five years to perform computer work for the city without a contract. Clark and Utech founder Mildred Boyer have pleaded guilty to tax charges stemming from the inquiry and have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

At least nine subpoenas were served this week on current and former city employees – many of whom worked with Dixon when she was president of the City Council – and those individuals are expected to testify before a grand jury next week.

Anthony W. McCarthy

The subpoena served on Anthony W. McCarthy is the latest since the mayor’s home was raided.
(Sun photo by Algerina Perna / February 14, 2008)

Anthony W. McCarthy, who refused to comment, served as Dixon’s chief of staff for nine months in 1999 and 2000 when she was president of the council. When Dixon became mayor, McCarthy was brought in to oversee communications and is largely credited with softening her image.

According to the Baltimore Sun, he abruptly left the position in November 2007 after revelations that he was being investigated by Baltimore County police. No charges were filed. McCarthy maintained his innocence, but he did not return to his former position in the mayor’s office.

Dixon has remained quiet about the investigation since the raid on her home, saying only that she is cooperating with prosecutors and that she is trying to stay focused on moving the city forward.

I am no lawyer, but if the state prosecutor is examining gifts to the mayor, he might be seeking to prove that Dixon violated ethics rules by not reporting them on financial disclosure forms, that she violated tax laws by not paying taxes on the gifts or that she committed official misconduct related to accepting a bribe in exchange for favorable treatment. I guess you could say that those would be three areas of interest if the authorities are looking for a mink coat. On the same day that investigators raided Dixon’s home, they called the owner of a fur coat company in Timonium to ask whether he was storing Dixon’s two fur coats this year, as he had in the past.

Well, I hope for her sake that her house is “clean” or she will be another mayor with a mess on her hands. Will keep you posted.

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Filed under: Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon, Bill Campbell, Ron Sailor

2 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Pelmo says:

    This is what is wrong with our politics today.
    How many people voted for Obama just because he is black, or for Hillary because she is white. Nothing to do with their qualifications, just the color of their skin.

    The election results clearly show how Hillary and Obama both played the game to take full advantage of it.

    So we shouldn’t be surprised when we get politicians taking advantage of the system when they know their election is guaranteed.

  2. Brother OMi says:

    thanks for keeping me up to date on this.

    its sad because places like Baltimore and Detroit are in shambles and this just does not help.

    pelmo: Well, the white mayors before dixon and kilpatrick in detroit were just as corrupt and were instrumental in leaving those cities in bad shape when they lost their elections.

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