BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Jurors in the federal bribery trial against State Senator Ulysses Currie heard from his closest ally Thursday.

Derek Valcourt explains how defense attorneys are hoping Senator Currie’s wife can help their case.

His wife testified she filled out his state ethics forms and blames herself for the legal troubles he now faces.

The Rev. Shirley Gravely-Currie walked to the federal courthouse holding hands with her embattled husband, hoping her testimony could convince jurors not to convict Prince George’s County State Senator Ulysses Currie.

The former chair of the state’s powerful Budget and Taxation Committee faces charges that he accepted nearly a quarter of a million dollars in bribes from grocery giant Shoppers Food in exchange for using his political power  to benefit the grocery chain.

Currie’s consulting for Shoppers was perfectly legal, according to his defense attorneys who argue the 74-year-old never used his political power on the grocery chain’s behalf — though they do acknowledge that he failed to disclose his work for the grocery chain as required on state ethics forms.

And that mistake his wife told jurors was her fault.

Gravely-Currie testified because her husband was unorganized and messy, she did all the paperwork in their household– including filling out her husband’s ethics forms.

“I was copying the (ethics form) from the year before and I certainly didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” Gravely-Currie said.

Calling the omissions a mistake, she ended her testimony by saying “I feel, in a way, I failed him. In a time when he should be enjoying the golden years, he is fighting for his integrity.  If I were more diligent, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

But prosecutors pointed out to jurors that making sure the ethics forms were complete and accurate was Senator Currie’s legal responsibility, not his wife’s.

Closing arguments in the case are expected Wednesday.

Comments (7)
  1. the truth says:

    I stopped shopping @ shoppers because they are a corrupt co. with filthy stores & arroganr employees.

  2. Steve Wilson says:

    It’s pretty obvious that Shoppers’ is corrupt and knew what they were doing when “employing” Currie. This is just another example of corrupt businesses and we all know that the GOP is the Party of Big Business.

  3. sheriff says:

    Hmmm, Wife can’t testify against her husban but can testify for him. Only in America & the Md where the courst are as corrupt as the sitting judges. You really think she’s gonna say he’s bad & cut off her Nordstroms credit card?

  4. ravenmaniac881 says:

    Political corruption in PG County. No, no way. The guy pleads stupidity as his defense. He’s not that dumb, crafty maybe but not stupid. He knew exactly what he was doing and now that he is caught he plans to use the ” I didn’t know what I was doing” thing.

  5. Mary says:

    Sheriff…you got me laughing on that comment about the Nordstroms Credit Card!!!!! Look like this crooked senator will spend his golden years at the lockup. Rev. Currie…start paying off those credit cards before sentencing. Senator Currie..I have a question for you. Did you tell the citizens in PG County during the campaign that you had ADD and that you have poor organizational skills? I bet not or otherwise you would not have won the election. You should have covered your butts and if he is not taking ADD med.. than you have not covered your _ss.

  6. Jean Gee, Baltimore, MD says:

    Let me get this straight, several of our allegedly “esteemed” politicians in this state testified that, basically, Currie is dumb as dirt, lazy, and just this side of being considered “mentally impaired in some way” and they have done nothing to bring this to light and have put him in charge of powerful committees for decades? The testimony of these politicians should show the people in this state WHY you should pay attention to who you vote for. Now his “pastor” wife is trying to take the blame, basically saying that he is too much of an imbecile to fill out his own paperwork. When he walks out of court does he remind anyone else of “Vinnie the Chin” in his bathrobe walking out of court several years ago in New York trying to appear mentally deranged?

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