Maloney, a former state delegate who has served as an informal adviser to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), helped draft Currie’s 2002 proposal to enter into a consulting arrangement with Shoppers Food Warehouse & Pharmacy, according to a motion filed by federal prosecutors.
The motion, filed Friday, seeks to prevent Currie (D-Prince George’s) from introducing evidence of advice he received from Maloney and other lawyers in defending himself against what prosecutors allege became an extortion and bribery scheme. A trial is set to begin in two weeks.
According to the motion, Maloney said he represented Currie free of charge for several months during which a letter was drafted to Shoppers offering to provide “substantial assistance in the corporation’s marketing, community relations and outreach efforts” in exchange for $5,000 a month.
In the letter, Currie, the former chairman of the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee, notes: “As we discussed, because I serve in the General Assembly, this contract would not include any appearances before the state legislature or any local elected body.”
Prosecutors allege that Currie’s work extended well beyond the language of a contract signed in 2003 and was never made public on financial disclosure forms filed with the state.
Over the next several years, prosecutors allege that Currie’s actions included voting on legislation that benefited Shoppers, working to delay energy-efficiency legislation, convening meetings for Shoppers with high-ranking state officials and seeking state funding for development projects to benefit the chain.
The motion filed Friday also raises questions about how much Currie shared about his consulting arrangement with the legislature’s ethics consul.
In a court hearing in July, Joseph L. Evans, a lawyer for Currie, acknowledged “an undisclosed conflict of interest” on Currie’s part but said his client was not guilty of extortion or bribery.
Evans said “the parade of horrors” alleged by prosecutors was unfounded.
“I think everyone will come to know that virtually nothing, virtually nothing that Sen. Currie ostensibly did for Shoppers happened,” Evans said. “I mean there are a couple small exceptions, but none of these things, these grants and millions of dollars and all this kind of stuff, none of that ever went anywhere. None of it went anywhere.”
Maloney did not immediately return a phone call Monday morning. In the motion, prosecutors say Maloney refused to provide additional information about his representation of Currie, citing attorney-client privilege.