Archive for January 9th, 2009|Daily archive page

Mayor of Baltimore indicted for corruption

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has been indicted for corruption. She is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has been indicted for corruption. She is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The Mayor of Baltimore, Sheila Dixon,  has been indicted on 12 counts of corruption by the Maryland State Attorney’s Office.  This is the result of a three-year long investigation that resulted in one of the 14 city council members being indicted earlier this week. According to the Baltimore Sun:

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.

A grand jury indicted Dixon on 12 counts, including four counts of perjury and two counts of theft over $500. She was also charged with theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in office.

According to the Baltimore-area news station, WBAL,

one allegation listed in the indictment said that on Dec. 16, 2004, 15 $50 Best Buy gift cards were purchased with cash by the city. Two were used on Dec. 11, 2005, at the Best Buy store downtown by Sheila Dixon to purchase $237 worth of merchandise, including a PlayStation2 and DVDs.

Baltimore City Hall, a very handsome building

Baltimore City Hall, a very handsome building

The investigation had been going on for three years.  Dixon became mayor in January of 2007 when Martin O’Malley left office to become Governor of Maryland.  She was elected mayor in her own right in November 2007.  Formerly she was a member of the Baltimore City Council, the first African-American female to serve as its president, and Baltimore’s first female mayor. She is Baltimore’s third African-American mayor.

Rod Blagojevich impeached, 114-1

Once the people of Illinois get a new, hopefully less-corrupt governor, they may want to look into a new state flag.

Once the people of Illinois get a new, hopefully less-corrupt governor, they may want to look into a new state flag.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been impeached by the State House of Representatives by a vote of 114-1.  The 118-member body currently has 67 Democrats and 51 Republicans; they acted only hours after a 21-member panel voted unanimously to recommend impeachment.

The lone dissenting vote came from Chicago Democrat Milton Patterson.  He represents a largely African American district; Gov. Blagojevich still maintains a fair amount of support among the African American community.  Representative Elga L. Jefferies voted present.  Two members of the House did not vote.

One Representative, Chicago Democrat Jack Frank, said “It’s our duty to clean up the mess and stop the freak show that’s become Illinois government.”  Indeed.

Governor Blagojevich will now be tried by the 59-member Illinois Senate; conviction requires a 2/3 supermajority, or 40 votes.  Hopefully they convict him by 12 February, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.