Currie, with ethics case behind him, to seek reelection to Maryland Senate next year


Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George’s) on the opening day of the 2009 legislative session. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
January 4, 2013

Maryland Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George’s), who was the subject of a lengthy ethics inquiry that resulted in a censure by his colleagues and a $10,000 penalty, said in an interview Friday that he plans to seek re-election next year.

“It has not been a difficult choice,” said Currie, who said he had been urged by his constituents to run again.

In 2011, Currie was found not guilty on all charges in a federal corruption case in which prosecutors had accused him of taking more than $245,000 in bribes from two grocery chain executives in exchange for government favors.

Currie maintained the payments from Shoppers Food Warehouse — which he failed to disclose on state ethics forms for five years — were part of a legitimate consulting arrangement.

After his acquittal, Currie’s case was examined by a legislative ethics committee, a process that led to a unanimous vote by the Senate last year to censure him for ethical lapses that came to light during the trial.

In November, Currie agreed to pay $10,000 to settle separate complaints brought by the Maryland State Ethics Commission. The complaints centered on Currie’s failure to disclose his consulting work on forms required of legislators.

“They indicated that was something I should do, and I didn’t struggle with it,” said Currie, who stepped down as chairman of the Budget and Tax Committee after being indicted in 2010.

Throughout the case, Currie’s lawyers argued that his omissions on disclosure forms were the result of sloppiness rather than an intent to conceal anything.

A parade of fellow politicians, including U.S. House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), appeared as character witnesses in Currie’s trial, a testament to the goodwill that Currie had amassed in more than 25 years in Annapolis.

He said Friday that he considers his ethics troubles — which became public after an FBI raid of his home in 2008 — to be behind him.

“I don’t think about it much,” Currie said.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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