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Maryland Politics
Posted at 07:05 PM ET, 08/05/2011

Charges against Sen. Currie still stand

(Gail Burton - AP)
A federal judge on Friday denied a motion by Maryland Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George’s) to dismiss eight of 10 charges pending against him in an alleged bribery and extortion scheme.

Currie, the former chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, is alleged to have used an undisclosed consulting arrangement with Shoppers Food Warehouse and Pharmacy to benefit the chain over a period of more than five years.

Lawyers for Currie had asked U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett to dismiss the charges, arguing that they were “constitutionally vague” or otherwise flawed. In a 17-page opinion, Bennett rejected some arguments put forward by Currie’s lawyers and said others were matters of fact, not law, to be decided at trial.

The trail of Currie and two former Shoppers executives alleged to have conspired with him is scheduled for late September.

Two additional charges, alleging false statements by Currie and one of the former executives, were not part of the motion to dismiss.

The indictment of Currie alleges he received more than $245,000 in exchange for helping the chain. Currie’s lawyers say he acted as any other consultant would have and that his actions were not bribery.

By  |  07:05 PM ET, 08/05/2011

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