Filings Detail Currie Items
Friday, June 6, 2008
Federal agents investigating Sen. Ulysses Currie seized bank statements, tax records dating to 2002 and correspondence between the senator and a grocery chain from his home last week, according to documents filed in court yesterday.
The documents show they also found marijuana and "drug packaging materials" in a bag on a dresser and in various other bags on the floor of one room at the District Heights home of the Prince George's Democrat. It is not clear in which room the drugs were found.
Prosecutors detailed the results of their May 29 searches of Currie's home and the Lanham headquarters of Shoppers Food and Pharmacy in court filings yesterday. A company spokeswoman has said Currie was an "outside consultant" for Shoppers. Currie did not disclose the relationship in ethics filings.
According to the court documents, investigators took a variety of documents labeled with Currie's name from the Shoppers headquarters, including a manila file described as "Senator Ulysses Currie 'Contract Agreements.' " They also took records dealing with several of the grocery chain's active projects across the state, including a Shoppers grocery store at Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, a liquor license for a Shoppers in College Park and correspondence with the State Highway Administration and Currie about intersection improvements at a store in Owings Mills.
At Currie's home, the documents show, agents took a check stub from Shoppers dated May 17, 2007, business cards, appointment schedules and a Smokey Robinson-Shoppers Food commemorative album. Currie lives at the home with his wife and teenage son.
Yesterday evening, Currie referred all questions about the results of the search to his attorney, Dale Kelberman, who did not immediately return phone calls. Asked about the marijuana, Currie said, "I know nothing about what they took from my home," before hanging up.
Also yesterday, the Maryland State Highway Administration released a 2005 e-mail in which the agency's director told staff members they should "expedite" approval of plans for a traffic light at a Shoppers Food and Pharmacy in Laurel because the project was "very important" to Currie.
In an e-mail, State Highway Administrator Neil Pedersen wrote that it was "very critical that we do all that we can to expedite this as much as possible. This is very important to the chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee."
In his e-mail, which was first reported by WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Pedersen went on to explain to SHA managers that the agency had major issues pending before Currie's committee. "We have our budget, [employee positions] and several critical pieces of legislation before his committee right now," Pedersen wrote in the March 12, 2005, e-mail.
Special Agent Rich Wolf, an FBI spokesman, said the e-mail had "piqued" the interest of the bureau. "We saw the piece, and we're not going to ignore it," he said.
Federal prosecutors have issued a subpoena for documents, computers and computer files maintained by Currie, his staff and the committee he chairs in Annapolis. Wolf said yesterday that the probe is proceeding "steadily."
Currie attorney Kelberman declined to comment on the State Highway Administration e-mail when reached yesterday afternoon.