Maryland Notebook

By John Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 7, 2009

On an annual form required to be filed with the State Ethics Commission, Sen. Ulysses S. Currie (D-Prince George's) disclosed something last week that he had neglected to mention in previous years: his employment as a consultant for Shoppers Food and Pharmacy.

Currie's failure to disclose the information is at the center of a year-old FBI investigation.

Currie, chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, was paid more than $207,000 over five years by the grocery chain, according to a court document unsealed in July. The document shows that Currie was first paid by the company in February 2003 and received $30,000 from it that year. His compensation rose to more than $54,000 annually by 2007.

In recent years, Currie repeatedly intervened in matters of interest to Shoppers, including contacting state agencies about traffic lights near its stores and attending a Prince George's County liquor board hearing at which the chain's request for a license was considered.

Shoppers is listed on the form in a section that asks for names of entities from which "you or a member of your immediate family had employment from which you earned income." The form, which covers last year, does not require disclosure of how much income was earned.

On a separate ethics form filed earlier in the year, Currie noted that his work with Shoppers had ended.

The FBI investigation has produced few public revelations in recent months, but there is no indication that it has ended.

Colleagues Support King For Greenip's Senate Seat

Del. James J. King (R-Anne Arundel) has received a boost from his House colleagues in a bid to replace the retiring Sen. Janet Greenip (R-Anne Arundel).

In a joint letter to members of the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee, which will recommend a successor, Dels. Tony McConkey (R-Anne Arundel) and Robert A. Costa (R-Anne Arundel) say they have agreed to support King for the seat. The three delegates represent areas that are part of Greenip's district.

"Delegate King's strong constituent service, coupled with his high name recognition and prolific fundraising ability, makes him the best candidate to defend and hold the Senate seat," says the April 26 letter, which King also signed. The three delegates say they came to the joint decision to avoid "infighting amongst our party faithful."

Greenip is stepping down with more than a year left in her term. She is one of only two Republican women in the Maryland Senate.

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