Charm City’s corruptocrat mayor finally resigned. But remember what I said about corruptocrat toe fungi: They never really go away! She’ll be able to run for office again in two years and she gets to keep her taxpayer-funded pension after raiding donations for the poor for her own personal shopping sprees.
After more than four years of investigation, and a month after a guilty verdict in the first corruption trial against her, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday in which she pledged to resign from office.
The move ends – temporarily at least – the public career of the city’s first female mayor and a longtime force in Baltimore politics. It also concludes a political and legal drama that has consumed the city for months.
“Today is a sad day,” Mayor Dixon said at a late afternoon press conference, unusually choked up for a woman who has long projected a tough-as-nails public image. “It is a cloud. But the sun comes out.”
Earlier in the day, Dixon had entered an Alford plea to one count of perjury – a charge related to prosecutors’ assertion that she had failed to disclose gifts from her former boyfriend and prominent Baltimore developer, Ronald Lipscomb. The Alford plea means that although Dixon does not admit guilt, she recognizes that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict her.
Mr. Lipscomb’s gifts were to be the subject of a trial scheduled to begin in March. Last month, in a separate trial, a jury convicted the mayor of taking for her own use gift cards donated for the city’s poor.
Under Wednesday’s agreement, prosecutors asked the court to strike last month’s guilty verdict and give Dixon probation before judgment – a legal status that means the mayor does not have a criminal conviction. She will serve no jail time, keep her $83,000 a year pension and after two years will be able to run again for office.
In return, the mayor has pledged to step down from office as of Feb. 4. Dixon will also receive four years of unsupervised probation, contribute 500 hours of community service, and donate $45,000 to charity.
She’ll be back.
Newsbusters catches the Baltimore Sun whitewashing Dixon’s political affiliation: Name That Party!