Why I Hate Maryland’s Infamous Corruption Dance

Unfree State

As a lifetime resident of Maryland, I grow weary of the perennial corruption dance that begins every time the FBI or a state investigator taps some unwilling Maryland politician on the shoulder and invites them to become a partner.

It’s not that I am tired of of seeing the rooting out of corrupt elected officials by diligent prosecutors and law enforcers. It’s that I’m sick and tired of seeing those accused being turned into innocent victims by $500-an-hour lawyers and their political cronies. What really makes me sick to my stomach is the fact that usually those who are guilty as sin end up getting off entirely — or given light sentences in a cushy Federal holding pen. They then come out in a few months and get a six-figure government job!

The latest reluctant hoofer in this dance of cat and mouse is Democratic state Sen. Ulysses Currie, chair of the all powerful Budget & Taxation Committee, who is being asked dance by a surprise FBI investigation.

G-men raided Currie’s home last week and seized financial records, business cards, personal planners and documents from Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, according to court filings. In evidence recovery logs released by federal prosecutors, agents also reported that marijuana and drug packaging materials were taken from a room in Currie’s home in District Heights, according to the Sun.

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But not to worry. These are just the opening steps in this awkward promenade. Already, prominent former and current elected officials have feigned shock and dismay at the allegation that Currie was on the payroll of the super market chain, helped them through the state bureaucracy to get a red light, but failed to report the fact on his ethics filing.

“It must be a mistake — an oversight,” Currie’s supporters say. “He’s the greatest, and most fair to all.”

And so the corruption dance begins, and takes its first steps that will lead us all through another frustrating experience as legal minds split hairs over the difference cadences of the law.

In a similar case a few years ago, Democratic Mayor Sheila Dixon was found not to have disclosed the fact that her sister worked for a company that Dixon went to bat for when she was president of the city council.

Although there were no criminal charges there were ethic questions. The dance went on and on with condemnations only coming from the press, while Dixon’s peers and supporters implied there was a grand conspiracy against Baltimore City behind the charges.

Bottom line: even though it was found that Dixon didn’t disclose the conflict of interest, the ethics board still ruled she had done nothing wrong! Recently, state investigators raided one of Dixon’s big contributors, but nothing has come of this corruption dance as of yet, and the state attorney’s office continues to stay mum. And even though this all happened a few months before the Mayoral election, the citizens of Baltimore elected Dixon mayor by a landslide!

That’s why, I suspect nothing will ever come of Currie’s case when the corruption dance reaches its final stages. And if by some chance Currie is found guilty of some wrongdoing, he and his friends will simply declare him a martyr of a racially motivated political witch hunt by prosecutors just trying to make a name for themselves! ced

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