Glenn, a Democrat from Baltimore City, accepted cash payments in exchange for supporting measures to expand licensing for out-of-state marijuana companies, creating a preference for cannabis companies based in Maryland, relaxing the requirements to become an opioid clinic director and helping a businessperson obtain a restaurant liquor license in her legislative district.
She is at least the sixth former Maryland lawmaker convicted of fraud or bribery in the past two years. Most recently, former state delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, a Prince George’s County Democrat, admitted to using $22,000 in campaign donations to purchase fast food and pay for dental work, hairstyling and other personal expenses.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and other state Republicans have cited the cases as evidence that state corruption laws should be strengthened.
Glenn was elected to the House of Delegates in 2007. She had served as chair of the Baltimore City delegation and the Legislative Black Caucus.
She was the lead sponsor of the bill that created Maryland’s medical marijuana program and a key advocate for making sure that minority businesses were included in the lucrative industry.
Glenn pleaded guilty to taking a total of $33,750 in bribes in five payments, beginning in early 2018 and continuing into 2019.
In April 2018, she met an unnamed businessperson at an Annapolis restaurant and slid the person a white, letter-sized envelope with her property tax bill enclosed.
In exchange for a payment of $3,000, according to court papers, she agreed to vote in favor of legislation that increased the number of medical marijuana growing and processing licenses available to out-of-state firms.
“I need your deposit slip and a check so there is no question who paid it,” the businessperson told her in March, according to the charging document. “That way everything is kosher.”
Glenn allegedly asked the person to “pay it with cash.”
On Wednesday, Glenn appeared in relatively good spirits, greeting reporters and supporters gathered outside the courtroom with a warm “How is everyone?”
After she entered the plea, two federal agents walked over to give her long hugs.
Judge Catherine C. Blake scheduled Glenn’s sentencing hearing for May 8. She said that the first count Glenn pleaded guilty to carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and the second count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. But defendants often receive lesser sentences, especially in cases where they have pleaded guilty.
Blake determined Glenn was competent to enter the plea after asking her a series of questions, including whether she understood she was giving up her right to a jury trial. Glenn answered “yes” to each.
The former lawmaker declined to answer questions from reporters as she left the courthouse.