Md. Sen. Currie bribery, conspiracy trial begins

September 28, 2011 • Business

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2009 file photo, Delegate Ulysses Currie, D-Prince George’s County, listens during the opening day of the legislative session in Annapolis, Md. Opening statements in the federal case against Currie, accused of using his influence to benefit a grocery store chain, are expected to take place, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that a prominent state senator sold the power of his office for more than $245,000 to help a grocery store chain over the years, though the lawmaker contends he was just helping store officials navigate state government and didn’t do anything illegal.

Prince George’s County Democrat Ulysses Currie is on trial on conspiracy, bribery, extortion and false statement charges. Currie worked as a consultant for Shoppers Food Warehouse for five years, and while he paid income taxes on the monthly checks he received he never reported his employment on state financial disclosure forms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Gavin said in opening arguments that Shoppers paid Currie to use his power as chairman of a powerful Senate financial committee to try to reduce rent for the chain at a Baltimore shopping mall. She also said the chain paid him to help transfer a liquor license from one store to another, put two traffic lights Login to read more

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