Former mayor Dixon $14k behind in court-ordered payments

Former Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon has fallen behind by close to $14,000 on court-ordered payments stemming her plea deal in the corruption investigation that led to her resignation, according to state corrections filings.

Dixon's probation agent sought a violation of probation charge, which was filed Monday, saying Dixon has made just four payments of $1,000 each since December 2010. A probation document says she is in arrears in the amount of $13,640.

After stepping down from office, Dixon was required to give $45,000 to charity in addition to 500 hours of community service. If she completes her four-year probation, her criminal record will be wiped clean. A hearing has been set for Dec. 7 for the probation violation charge, records show.

Reached by phone Tuesday night, Dixon said she was unaware of the charge but acknowledged that she has fallen behind on payments.

"I've been trying to work it out with them, but I'm not aware that it's gotten to that point," Dixon said. "I did fall behind."

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who finished Dixon's term, said Wednesday that news of a potential violation for Dixon "pulls the scab off again for a city that's trying to get over that history and move forward to bring trust back into government."

"It was a dark time in Baltimore's history," Rawlings-Blake said, referring to what she called Dixon's "fall from grace."

"My hope is that she'll be able to resolve whatever issues she has for herself, for her family and for the city," the mayor added.

Dixon, Baltimore's first female mayor, was forced out of office in January 2010 on charges that she stole about $500 in gift cards intended for needy families. She was placed on four years' probation before judgment as part of a plea agreement on a perjury charge that she failed to disclose on city ethics forms gifts she received from a developer.

Records show Dixon initially made significant progress in the court-ordered payments, making donations of $5,000 in September 2010 and $10,000 in December 2010. But she's made just $4,000 in payments since then.

Dixon noted that she is charged 17 percent interest on the restitution, and she said making payments has been difficult.

"I don't know how people who really don't have anything can handle something like that," Dixon said.

She got to keep her $83,000 city pension, and also receives a pension from the school system. She has been working as a fundraiser for the Maryland Minority Contractors Association, and is raising two children.

Representatives for the state prosecutor's office could not be reached for comment.

Baltimore Sun reporters Ian Duncan and Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad