Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Defending a prominent politician against bribery charges. Monday, Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor, Anthony Brown, testified on behalf of State Senator Ulysses Currie.
Derek Valcourt has been following the trial.
Defense attorneys promised jurors a parade of well-known, big name witnesses. The lieutenant governor is the latest to testify for Currie.
As Maryland’s lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown is used to audiences but this time it was a jury listening to his every word. Brown took the stand for about 15 minutes Monday to testify on behalf of his longtime friend and political ally, State Senator Currie. The Prince George’s Democrat stands accused of accepting nearly a quarter of a million dollars in bribes from grocery chain Shoppers Food in exchange for political favor.
Defense attorneys argue Currie’s work as a paid consultant for Shoppers Food was perfectly legal, though they acknowledge he did fail to disclose his work for Shoppers on ethics forms.
Brown, who ran Currie’s election campaign in 1994, told jurors he considers Currie an “honest man” of “strong integrity” but one who lacks organizational skills. That’s important to the defense, which is trying to paint a picture of Currie as an honest but unorganized man when it comes to paperwork, which he often submitted late and incomplete.
Last week, jurors also heard from Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, who testified Currie was an honest man but not one very good at being organized.
The trial will resume Tuesday morning.
Currie faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all the charges.