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Sen. Ulysses Currie On Trial Next Month On Bribery Charges

BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal judge on Friday denied a request by a Maryland state senator’s attorneys to dismiss bribery charges against the longtime lawmaker.

Lawyers for Sen. Ulysses Currie had argued that the vagueness of state law blurred the line between his role as a part-time senator and private consultant so much that the charges should be dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett rejected the argument that Currie is being prosecuted for “non-legislative acts.”

“As an initial matter, the Maryland bribery statute does not distinguish between ‘legislative’ and ‘non-legislative’ duties,” Bennett wrote. “Even if it did, as described above, the alleged misconduct by Senator Currie constituted legislative acts.”

A federal indictment accuses Currie, a Prince George’s County Democrat, of taking payments from the grocery store chain Shoppers Food Warehouse in exchange for corrupt activities in the course of his official duties as a state senator to benefit the chain.

Prosecutors allege the activity was concealed within a consulting relationship.

Currie allegedly was paid $245,816 by Shoppers between 2003 and 2008. He is scheduled for trial next month.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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