Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon Steps Down from Office
Amid allegations that she stole from the poor, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has stepped down from her post.
Her decision to do so ends a three-year tenure and is part of a plea deal struck with prosecutors to avoid Dixon being thrown out office.
According to the Associated Press, Dixon 56, was convicted on a single charge that she stole $500 in gift cards intended for the needy.
In addition, she also recently pleaded guilty to a perjury charge for failing to disclose on city ethics forms designer clothing and other lavish gifts from Ronald Lipscomb, a married man and developer whom she formerly dated. Her boyfriend reportedly received several tax breaks from the city.
She entered an Alford plea, basically acknowledging there was enough evidence to convict her but she did not admit guilt.
As previously discussed, Sheila Dixon became Baltimore's first African-American woman mayor when she easily won a four-year term in November of 2007.
Now in exchange for her plea, Dixon's convictions will be wiped off her record if she complies with several conditions, including a $45,000 charitable contribution and 500 hours of community service.
She also is not allowed employment with the city or state during her probation, which will last at least two years and up to four.
The deal does however allow her to keep her city pension, which is estimated at $83,000.
State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh said he hoped the case would send a message to politicians.
City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat, will replace Sheila Dixon.
- Dixon talks of trial, legacy (Baltimore Sun)
- Dixon trial 'fair, not perfect' (Delewareonline.com)
- Rawlings-Blake calls anger over Dixon pension 'understandable' (Baltimore Sun)
- Criminal Law Basics (FindLaw)