The prosecutor said he hopes that other elected leaders will take notice.
"If you commit a crime, you will be charged. It is not worth the risk, and politicians should understand that," he said.
Best Buy and Target gift cards on herself and her aides. Developer Patrick Turner said he purchased those gift cards in 2005 for "the children of Baltimore." Dixon was City Council president at the time.
The jury acquitted Dixon of three other charges, including felony theft in the Turner case, and failed to reach a verdict on a charge that she misused about $120 worth of Toys "R" Us gift cards from a separate, city-funded charity program.
Presiding Judge Dennis M. Sweeney declared a mistrial on that count and gave prosecutors until Friday to decide whether to retry it.
After about 40 hours of deliberations, the jury forewoman announced the verdict to a hushed courtroom filled with top City Hall employees. The forewoman, who like other jurors has not been publicly identified, said Dixon had been found not guilty of stealing the Turner gift cards but was guilty of misappropriating those same cards.
Dixon's sister, Janice Dixon, and other supporters watched stone-faced. First Deputy Mayor Andrew B. Frank brought a hand to his head. Walking out, Dixon's director of homeless services, Diane Glauber, had tears in her eyes. City employees who were there would not talk about the verdict.
Outside the courthouse, lead defense attorney Arnold M. Weiner stood with his arm around Dixon. He said the defense team, which includes seven lawyers, was disappointed and would spend the next few days analyzing options, which could include an appeal.
Her attorneys had argued repeatedly for a mistrial, saying the case was so confusing that it had prejudiced the jury against Dixon.
Dixon worked at City Hall for much of the afternoon, her spokesman said, and in the evening attended a happy hour for young professionals in Canton and a holiday shopping event in Fells Point.
But with the verdict, Dixon's continued service in office was suddenly thrown into doubt.
Councilman James B. Kraft said being mayor requires the support of Baltimore's residents.
"A jury of the mayor's peers has found her guilty," he said, "That finding undermines the confidence that the constituents have."
Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said she did not know whether Dixon could remain as mayor.
"It is for her to decide," she said.
State prosecutors began investigating allegations of misspending at City Hall in March 2006, after a federal probe resulted in no charges.
During that time, state investigators pored over thousands of documents, raided Dixon's home and interviewed local developers and public officials. Five people have pleaded guilty, including Lipscomb, who formerly dated the mayor.
Lipscomb had been expected to be a key figure in Dixon's trial. Prosecutors alleged that his construction company, Doracon Contracting Inc., gave her office sets of gift cards to donate to needy families in 2005 and 2006.
Defense attorneys promised in their opening statement that they would discredit Lipscomb as untrustworthy and disorganized. State prosecutors never called him to the stand, and two charges involving his gift cards were dismissed by the judge during the trial.
Dixon's attorneys argued that Dixon had assumed that the Turner gift cards, which they said arrived at her office in an unmarked envelope, were personal gifts from Lipscomb and were hers to spend.
But phone records entered into evidence showed calls between Turner and Dixon immediately before and after Turner bought the gift cards. And Turner testified that he had made the charity purchases at Dixon's urging.
Pollack said she and her fellow jurors rejected the defense theory as improbable.
"She got exactly what she asked for," Pollack said. "I don't care if it arrives in a blank envelope or a shoe, you know it's for you if you asked for it."
Shawana, the other juror who spoke publicly, said, "There's no explanation for why she used gift cards for a needy child."
James I. Cabezas, the chief investigator for the state prosecutor's office, said the "jury verdict supports the thought that Dixon did not accidentally step on the line - but eagerly jumped over it and did so repeatedly."
Baltimore Sun reporter Julie Scharper contributed to this article.