Baltimore’s first black female Mayor Sheila Dixon was convicted Tuesday on a single charge of taking gift cards intended for the city’s poor.
Although Dixon was acquitted of a felony theft charge, her conviction could force her from office. Jurors deliberated more than six days after hearing the Democrat was accused of using or keeping $630 worth of gift cards. Dixon’s supporters accused the prosecution of being biased against her because she was black.
She allegedly solicited most of the cards from a wealthy developer,?a former boyfriend of hers,?and then bought electronics at Best Buy, clothes at Old Navy and other items at Target.
The jury convicted her on one count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and acquitted her on two counts of felony theft and one count of misconduct in office. Jurors failed to reach a verdict on another count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.
“The city will still continue to move forward,” Dixon said outside the courthouse after the verdict. “This city will continue to run. … We won’t miss a step.”
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press