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Senator Ulysses Currie rescinds resignation from Maryland General Assembly

Erin Cox
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Sen. Ulysses Currie has rethought his plan to resign from the Maryland General Assembly.

State Sen. Ulysses Currie has taken back his resignation from the Maryland General Assembly, less than four weeks after he said he lacked the strength to continue in office.

The Prince George's County Democrat cited a "total loss of civility" in the contest to succeed him.

"Since my announcement, it has been nothing but petty political jockeying and deal-making," Currie, 79, wrote in a letter Tuesday to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller. "This has created a level of divisiveness and discord I have rarely seen … and which I cannot allow to continue."

Currie announced Nov. 4 he planned to end his nearly three-decade legislative career Thursday.

He wrote Tuesday that he now wants to finish his term, which runs through 2018.

The former teacher and principal has held his Senate seat since 1995. He served in the House of Delegates from 1987 to 1995.

Currie wrote that he had wanted his wife, the Rev. Shirley Gravely-Currie, to take his seat as a caretaker until the 2018 election. He said "no other person came forward without the intention of using the appointment to gain an election advantage over others."

"Most importantly to me, to have a total loss of the civility in politics that I have worked my whole career to engender be lost in a battle over my retirement, is something that I cannot abide."

Currie became chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in 2003. He served in that powerful role until 2010, when he was indicted on federal corruption charges. Prosecutors alleged Currie used his elected office to help Shoppers Food Warehouse, for which he was a paid consultant.

He was acquitted of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges in 2011. His defense argued, in part, that Currie's actions were more likely ethical violations than crimes.

The Senate censured Currie in the following session, and Miller stripped him of leadership positions. Currie apologized and voted in favor of his censure.

The General Assembly reconvenes in January.

ecox@baltsun.com

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