Dixon pleads guilty, receives probation, resigns post, effective in February

Surrounded by members of her staff, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announces that she will resign, part of a plea deal that brought a years-long corruption investigation to a close and ended the tenure of the city's first female mayor.

Dixon left office Feb. 4, the day she was sentenced both for a guilty plea she entered in a perjury case and for her embezzlement conviction in December 2009. She kept her $83,000 pension, and her criminal record will be wiped clean if she completes the terms of her probation within four years.

A teary Dixon returned to City Hall to announce her resignation, saying that she was doing so "with deep regret and sadness." She did not apologize but said there would come a time, after sentencing, that she could give her full side of the story.

"I love the city. I love the people of this city," said Dixon, who was raised in West Baltimore, where she still lives. "Now it's time to move on." (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron / January 6, 2010)

"The biggest thing this does, it removes a cloud that has been in existence over the city since she was convicted. ... The credibility of the office was hurting. ... You can't govern being convicted."

Clarence M. Mitchell IV, WBAL-Radio talk show host

"This is one of the worst days in Baltimore history, to have a mayor resign. ... We have to rally behind Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who now becomes the mayor."

Former City Council member Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr.

"The fact that she lost her job is enough. You have to ask, when is enough enough? ... Go ahead and let her have her pension."

Elaine Pollack, member of the Dixon trial jury

"I really looked at Sheila Dixon as a people's mayor. ... She didn't have any hidden agendas. She didn't want to be the governor. I'm just sorry she didn't get to be what she wanted to be. Somehow, things just got derailed."

Denise Whiting, owner of the Cafe Hon restaurant in Hampden, one of the last locations where Dixon made a public appearance

"She's a liar and thief. And as a black woman, the first one in that office, she makes everyone look bad. It took a long time for someone like her to get there, and this just tears it up. I don't think you should take from the kids and from the homeless."

Nirobia Lewis,an administrative assistant who lives in Baltimore

"It was the correct decision based on the focus on [Dixon], the hoopla and the distraction. You have to imagine the stress and the tension she had to deal with every day. When your mind is somewhere else, you don't give 100 percent. That is a tremendous stress factor on you when you're trying to run the city."

State Sen. Joan Carter Conway, District 43, Baltimore City

"It's a deal pretty much any lawyer could have seen coming. The three people who knew the most about this case came up with this decision, and I think that's fine. It really does move us out of this situation."

State Del. Curt Anderson, District 43, Baltimore City

"She was very independent, very independent-thinking. ... She had very few close advisers. She relied on her own counsel for a lot of stuff. At the end of the day maybe that was problematic."

Anthony McCarthy, former Dixon aide and radio show host

"I don't think she had a choice - she was going to have to leave anyway. You don't like to hear about dirty politicians. You want to hear that they're doing good for all of us, that they're doing good for the people, that they're helping us."

Mary Hallinger, a surgical coordinator who lives in Baltimore

"I think it's a relief for everyone that the ordeal is over. ... Now it's very important to focus on the future. There have been clouds over the city and some of its development practices. I think the transition provides an opportunity to institute some good practices."

Ronald Kreitner, executive director of WestSide Renaissance Inc.

"This is a difficult day in the history of our city. All of us need to support Council President Rawlings-Blake as she takes on the critically important work of leading Baltimore's progress as our new mayor."

Gov. Martin O'Malley

"She was too cocky about it. God forbid that anybody accuse her of anything. She was never humble or apologetic."

Mike McMaines, a physical therapist who lives in Baltimore

"I'm sad that she's stepping down. I saw some of the difference that she made in the city with the crime."

Shirley Hunt, a Charles Village office manager who lives in Owings Mills

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