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Defense begins in Currie trial

Defense begins in Currie trial

Attorneys for state Sen. Ulysses S. Currie, on trial for extortion and related charges, began his defense Monday by calling a witness who portrayed the Prince George's County legislator as endlessly pleasant, but not very bright.

"On the smart [scale], he's right at the bottom," Timothy F. Maloney, a lawyer and former Maryland delegate, testified as the first witness for the defense. "On the nice [scale], he's right at the top."

Currie, a former teacher, has a master's degree in education, and he held one of the most powerful positions in the state legislature as chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Yet, according to Maloney, Currie is...