The Washington Post

Sen. Ulysses Currie gets high-profile help for ethics matter

Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George’s) has enlisted a retired judge from Maryland’s highest court to represent him in upcoming legislative ethics proceedings.

Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's) speaks with reporters outside U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Nov. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“I have agreed to assist the senator through the process,” said Murphy, who is now a lawyer in private practice at a Baltimore firm.

In late November, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) asked the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics to take a look at the relationship between Currie and a grocery chain that paid him $245,000 over five years.

The move followed Currie’s Nov. 8 acquittal in federal court on charges that, under the guise of a consulting relationship, he used his office to do favors for Shoppers Food Warehouse.

Miller noted that Currie was “found not guilty of any crimes” but said issues were raised that fall under the jurisdiction of the ethics committee. Currie, the former chairman of the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee, did not disclose the arrangement on ethics forms but did report the income on his tax returns.

The ethics committee is expected to convene shortly after the start next week of Maryland’s 90-day legislative session.

Murphy was appointed to Maryland’s high court in 2007 by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). He had previously served as the chief judge of the Court of Special Appeals.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.



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