Friday, January 09, 2009

Baltimore mayor indicted on theft, perjury charges

While Illinois took one more step to its nightmare administration by impeaching Gov. Blagojevich it looks like Baltimore, Maryland has to contend with an indicted Mayor. How unfortunate I've understood that Baltimore is a struggling city just like Detroit. What is wrong?
Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted Friday on charges that she accepted illegal gifts during her time as mayor and City Council president, including travel, fur coats and gift cards that she allegedly used for a holiday shopping spree.

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.

The State Prosecutor's Office, which has been investigating corruption at City Hall for nearly three years, said Dixon received holiday gift cards for four years from several people. Prosecutors said the gift cards were to be distributed to needy families but were instead used by Dixon to buy herself electronics, clothes and other merchandise and also handed out to members of her staff.

"I am being unfairly accused," Dixon said in a statement. "Time will prove that I have done nothing wrong, and I am confident that I will be found innocent of these charges."

Dixon said she would not step down. "I will not let these charges deter me from keeping Baltimore on the path that we have set or from carrying forward the significant progress we have made thus far," she said.
I should also note, I don't know how Birmingham, Alabama is doing these days, but their mayor, Larry Langford was also indicted late last year. Well I'm not trying to say that black politicians are susceptible to corruption, but it's very easy for me to look at them differently when they get caught up in scandal. Perhaps the standards are different even though we should be wary of all politicians, even if there are those who are above reproach.
It reminds me, what's up with Detroit. I know that Kwame Kilpatrick went ahead and gave up his office after he himself was embroiled in scandal. I would like to think we can do better in voting in credible and honest people especially in those struggling cities.

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