Dixon speaks

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon speaks as part of a discussion panel during an anniversary party for the Investigative Voice Web site. She said that, since stepping down Feb. 4, she has been "regrouping" and "cooking healthy meals" for her son. (Baltimore Sun photo by Steve Ruark / February 24, 2010)

Three weeks after resigning as mayor in a cloud of scandal, Sheila Dixon was back in the spotlight Wednesday night.

Speaking at a panel discussion sponsored by the Investigative Voice Web site, Dixon promoted some of her pet causes - gun control, the environment, prenatal care - and her accomplishments in office.

"Part of what I was attempting to do was to focus on those systemic issues," said Dixon. "So when we talk about cleaner, greener, healthier, safer cities, it wasn't just buzz words."

Dixon stepped down Feb. 4 as part of a plea deal to settle charges of embezzlement and perjury.



Joining her on the panel was another city leader tarnished by legal issues - former police commissioner Ed Norris. Norris, who spent six months in prison for federal corruption and tax convictions, also pointed to his accomplishments in office.

The event, a fundraiser to mark the one-year anniversary of the news Web site, was intended to spark conversation, said Investigative Voice founder Stephen Janis.

Dixon said she had spent the past few weeks "regrouping" and "cooking healthy meals" for her son. She has not begun her court-ordered community service because she is waiting on paperwork.

The former mayor appeared rested and relaxed. When a panelist said he sought her help with a police issue a few weeks ago, Dixon said, "I had a few other things going on then."

At times, the former mayor sounded as if she were running for office. "I'm from Baltimore. Born and raised here. I love this city," she said.

Janis, the panel moderator, quipped, "Thanks for the campaign announcement"

"It's not a campaign announcement," Dixon said. "It's what I live."