BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The fate of a powerful politician is now in the hands of a jury. Deliberations continued until Friday evening in the federal corruption case against State Senator Ulysses Currie. The judge then sent the jurors home. They will return on Monday.
Weijia Jiang has the latest.
His reputation and seasoned career on the line, now Maryland State Senator Ulysses Currie’s personal and political future is out of his hands. A jury continues to deliberate whether the 74-year-old sold his power to Shoppers Food Warehouse for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
WJZ obtained a copy of the very verdict sheet jurors are working to answer. They will determine if Currie is guilty or not of extortion, bribery, conspiracy and giving false statements to investigators. The federal corruption case unfolded more than three years ago. FBI agents, armed with search warrants, raided Currie’s Prince George’s County home and Shoppers offices.
“They went through the house, room by room, examined boxes,” Currie said.
The former chair of the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee is accused of doing a host of favors for Shoppers:
– Lowering their rent on Mondawmin Mall
– Helping the company transfer a liquor license
– Getting traffic lights installed near some stores and
– Trying to get millions in grant money for a development that would have benefitted them.
Defense attorneys have always admitted that Currie worked as a consultant for the grocery chain, but simply didn’t remember to disclose the position in state ethics forms. A parade of high-profile politicians testified that Currie is an honest but disorganized man. During closing arguments, prosecutors told jurors: “This was no accident. This was no mistake. This was intentionally concealing from the public his connection to Shoppers.”
Two former Shoppers executives are also on trial. The jury deliberated on a verdict for all three men.
If Currie is found guilty of all the counts, he could face more than 30 years in prison.