A federal jury on Tuesday acquitted Maryland Sen. Ulysses Currie of all charges in a case in which he was charged with engaging in a five-year bribery scheme.
Federal prosecutors accused Currie (D-Prince George’s) of conspiring with two grocery chain executives to use his office do a series of government favors for Shoppers Food Warehouse. He was paid $245,000 over the course of more than five years.
Currie’s lawyers argued that the work was part of a legitimate consulting arrangement. They acknowledged that his activities amounted to a conflict of interest at times but contended he was not taking bribes.
During the six-week trial, prosecutors outline a series of activities by Currie to benefit Shoppers, including advocating for stoplight requests, helping facilitate a liquor license transfer and several development deals.
Jurors found William J. White, the former president of Shoppers, and R. Kevin Small, who oversaw construction for the grocery chain, were also acquitted of all charges. Both Currie and White had also been charged with making false statements to the FBI.
The jury deliberated for three full days. The investigation into Currie’s activities became public in 2008, when the FBI raided his home.