Corruption

Reactionaries Attack Gift Card Program

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I was traveling when the mayor of my sometimes-home city was indicted, but better a late post than no post at all:

A Maryland grand jury on Friday indicted Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on 12 criminal counts, including theft and perjury, for alleged official misconduct beginning when she was a councilwoman.

A number of the charges relate to gifts that prosecutors say Ms. Dixon received from developers, including her former boyfriend, Ronald Lipscomb, and didn't properly disclose….In addition, the Maryland prosecutor's office charged that for four years Ms. Dixon misused holiday gift cards that were intended to be distributed to needy families. Prosecutors say she gave them to members of her staff and used them to buy herself electronics and clothing.

Kudos to Doug Donovan of the Baltimore Sun—well, formerly of the Sun—for doing the initial heavy lifting on this story. Bonus for Wire enthusiasts: Dixon is widely believed to be the model for Nerese Campbell, the sleazy council president in the show's fictionalized Baltimore. Program creator David Simon denies that the character "is" Dixon; take that as you will.

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