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Prosecution Not Buying Stupidity Plea In Sen. Currie Bribery Trial

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Ulysses Currie

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—More key witnesses take the stand in the bribery trial against Maryland State Senator Ulysses Currie.

Weijia Jiang is following Wednesday’s testimony.

In federal court, a parade of high-profile politicians is starting to take the stand in support of their colleague, State Senator Currie. 

Currie faces bribery charges accused of performing a host of government favors for Shoppers Food Warehouse in exchange for $245,000.

On Wednesday, fellow Maryland Sen. Brian Frosh testified Currie is honest and modest. The pair’s political careers parallel, both having spent 25 years in the General Assembly. 

“In Annapolis, people tend to become full of themselves when they’re elected. They act arrogant. Senator Currie is the opposite of that,” Frosh said. “He doesn’t try to spin things. He doesn’t try to tell you what he thinks you want to hear. He tells you the truth.”

Defense attorneys admit Currie worked as a consultant for Shoppers, but they say he didn’t realize he had to disclose the position.

This week they even called on some of Currie’s closest friends, saying he simply is not bright enough to orchestrate a corruption scheme. One man even said on the smart scale, Currie is right on the bottom.

But prosecutors aren’t buying the so-called stupidity plea, pointing to Currie’s position as chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. They’re also trying to convict two Shoppers executives.

The defense continues to try to build profiles of all three men as being upstanding and unaware they were breaking any laws.

When court wrapped up, jurors were hearing from another Shoppers consultant to give them some perspective on what Currie did. The trial will resume Thursday.

Both Governor Martin O’Malley and former Governor Bob Ehrlich are expected to testify on Currie’s behalf at some point during the trial.

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