BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland lawyer is accused of taking bribes in exchange for votes. The trial continued Tuesday as defense attorneys claim their own client is unintelligent but not dishonest.

Adam May has the latest.

Prosecutors are poking questions at the stupidity defense, pointing out Senator Ulysses Currie was trusted with a lot of power and responsibility.

Attorneys for State Senator Ulysses Currie told the judge their client will not take the stand in his own defense.

Instead, U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings was the latest in a parade of high-profile politicians to testify on Currie’s behalf. Cummings described Currie as an honest man.

The Prince George’s Democrat stands accused of accepting nearly a quarter of a million dollars in bribes from supermarket chain Shoppers Food in exchange for political favors.

Currie’s legal team is using what some call the “idiot defense.” Witnesses such as Lt. Governor Anthony Brown told the jury Currie is honest but disorganized.

Prosecutors hit back, alleging that Currie’s powerful chairmanship of the state’s Budget and Taxation Committee is a complicated job, requiring a certain level of intelligence.

Defense attorneys argue Currie’s work as a paid consultant for Shoppers Food was perfectly legal. They acknowledge he failed to disclose his work for Shoppers on ethics forms.

Executives and consultants with other supermarket chains also took the stand Tuesday. They describe a tight relationship with elected officials in Annapolis.

Currie faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all the charges.

Comments (6)
  1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    If he’s as stupid as they say, do you blame him?

  2. Steve Wilson says:

    If he takes the stand, the prosecution gets to question him, then the Defense us dead.

  3. AT says:

    He took the money and is the chairman of the Budget and Taxation committee — not as stupid as those who elected him.

  4. BRENT BARBOUR says:

    Let this public servant go home. He attempted to do a good thing for the folks in B-More, in an all black neighborhood, with no grocery store, or representation otherwise. However, in the process, he must have failed to play the game with some higher ups, and for that he is facing uncertainty. We watched Sheila go down, and now the system is attempting to bring down another one of our voices; enough is enough. People, both white and black, need to wake up and recognize the forces at work that are attempting to take over our city. Ask yourself, who is next up to speak for us if this man goes down. If you find the answer lies in someone committed to the establishment, ready and waiting to take power, that person will be nothing more than a figurehead, ready to turn our city over to those with the power.

    1. Seriously? says:

      I’ll be your voice if I can get that 250k in kickbacks……

  5. business not as usual says:

    A true representative of the rich history of Maryland political corruption like Marvin Mandel, Joe Alton, Dale Green, and Spiro Agnew. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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