Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon is back in the public eye. Two years after she was forced to step down in a corruption scandal, Dixon faces city residents in a comedy roast.
Kai Jackson explains what’s behind Dixon’s bold return.
The roast started with this question: Is Sheila Dixon helping others or helping herself?
“Sheila, what about the fur coats? No comment. Uhm, the gift cards? No comment!”
Dixon got roasted at the Baltimore Comedy Factory in Power Plant Live! downtown.
“And Miss Dixon, get ready for the worst 90 minutes of community service of your life,” joked Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun.
“I find that if you can’t laugh at yourself and if you can’t laugh at others, that it’s really unhealthy,” Dixon said.
The last time most of Baltimore saw the former mayor was when she left City Hall in disgrace.
In December 2009, a jury found her guilty of misappropriating gift cards meant for the needy– a misdemeanor. And in January 2010, she resigned from office.
“I’ll just leave the gift cards alone and do you a favor and not really talk about the gift cards,” De’von Brown, a former City Council candidate, said.
Dixon says don’t call this a comeback;she’s been here for years. The former mayor says the event isn’t about politics but about helping a charity.
Since her conviction, Dixon has been fulfilling court-ordered community service.
On this night, Dixon says her problems are in the past, and that’s why she agreed to be roasted for charity.
“That’s really the driving force behind it– really trying to help the girls organization with Agape House,” she said.
Others, in a humorous way, question the former mayor’s motives.
“For the office of Mayor Sheila Dixon once again. Marion Barry did it and they don’t have tape of you smokin’ crack on tape,” Kirk McEwen, a Baltimore DJ, said.
Dixon remains on probation. She does get an $83,000 pension which was a source of contention.
As part of her plea deal, Dixon is not allowed to run for office until 2015.