Baltimore Mayor Convicted of Embezzlement
(Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna / December 1, 2009) Mayor Sheila Dixon and her lead attorney, Arnold M. Weiner, face the media after her conviction on a single charge of taking gift cards intended for the city's poor
Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey | The Baltimore Sun via YellowBrix
December 01, 2009
• Count Three
Dixon was not convicted of theft for taking six Toys “R” Us gift cards purchased with taxpayer money in 2007 for a city housing department charity event called the Holly Trolley tour. Dixon gave one of the cards to a wealthy aide, and the others were found in a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag in Dixon’s home when it was raided last year.
• Count Six
The jury was hung on the count of embezzlement. Dixon was accused of violating her fiduciary duties to the city and citizens of Baltimore by taking the six Toys “R” Us gift cards intended for the city housing department’s 2007 Holly Trolley tour. Juror No. 3 said the jury was split, 9-3, in favor of convicting the mayor on this charge.
• Count Seven
Dixon was found not guilty of misconduct in office for stealing the Holly Trolley cards.
The five theft-related counts stemmed from a nearly four-year investigation into City Hall corruption that has centered on relationships between public officials and developers who have relied on tax breaks for projects.
Two of the original seven counts — felony theft of gift cards worth more than $500 and fraudulent misappropriation of the gift cards donated by Ronald H. Lipscomb and Doracon, owned by Lipscomb — were tossed out when the state rested its case without calling the developer, who said he had given Dixon gift cards for charity, as a witness.
After the verdict was read, State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh said that the jury made a courageous decision.
“It’s a sad day for Baltimore,” he said.
Looking ahead, Rohrbaugh said that he needs time to think about how to proceed on Count Six, the charge of embezzlement on the Holly Trolley gift cards. He also said he is going to continue to pursue the perjury case against the mayor.
Arnold M. Weiner, Dixon’s lead defense attorney, said that “all things are being considered” for their next move.