Powerful state senator indicted
Currie, Shoppers executives charged with corruption
The chairman of the state Senate’s powerful budget committee relinquished the post Wednesday after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of bribery, mail fraud and other criminal offenses.
Prosecutors say veteran state Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George’s County Democrat, used his official position for personal gain by accepting payments to help a supermarket chain expand in Maryland. Also named in the 18-count indictment were two former executives with Shoppers Food Warehouse.
"When businesses can obtain valuable government benefits by putting a senator on the payroll, it diminishes public confidence and disadvantages companies that refuse to go along with the pay-to-play approach," the U.S. attorney for Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein, said in a statement. "Government officials cross a bright line when they accept payments in return for using the authority of their office, whether they take cash in envelopes or checks labeled as consulting payments."