Reporting Denise Koch
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A prominent state senator is on trial for bribery and extortion. So is he corrupt or is he simply too dumb to know what he’s doing?
Denise Koch reports friends of Senator Ulysses Currie took the stand in what could be a so-called stupidity defense.
In federal court, some of Senator Currie’s closest friends are taking swipes at his intelligence, memory and organizational skills—including U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. Hoyer told the jury Currie did not pay attention to details but he did pay attention to people. He said Currie is caring and decent but organization is not his strong suit.
Urologist Michael Naslund, who tried Currie for cancer, testified that the senator’s mental capabilities seemed fuzzy and he was taking medication that sometimes causes patients to be forgetful.
Currie is accused of trying to sway state leaders about projects benefitting the Shoppers grocery chain, a company that gave him a $240,000 contract. The defense isn’t denying the facts but is trying to show that Currie didn’t know what he was doing.
Both Governor Martin O’Malley and former Governor Bob Ehrlich are expected to testify on Currie’s behalf in this trial.