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Dixon lawyers seek review of all grand jury subpoenas in case

Lawyers for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon continued a legal quarrel with state prosecutors and filed new papers Tuesday aimed at forcing the state to turn over all grand jury subpoenas issued since January when the mayor was first charged with perjury and theft.

Dixon attorney Dale P. Kelberman wrote in a court filing that he needs to review the subpoenas in order to prevent "possible injustice" in the case and called the state prosecutors' arguments for withholding the information "a combination of confusion, obfuscation and irrelevancy."

The wrangling over subpoenas dates to mid-July, when Dixon's defense attorneys learned that State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh had asked a grand jury to subpoena at least two witnesses to testify about theft charges brought against the mayor.

At that point, perjury charges against Dixon had been dismissed, but the theft charges stood. Defense attorneys moved to quash the subpoenas, saying that prosecutors were improperly using the grand jury to call witnesses for the purpose of preparing for trial.

Prosecutors withdrew the subpoenas and then dropped the initial indictment. A judge ruled that the defense motion to quash was moot, as the case it related to was no longer being pursued.

But a grand jury handed up two new indictments in late July charging Dixon with theft and perjury, and Kelberman filed a new motion requesting information about the subpoenas.

He also contends that state prosecutors should be sanctioned for what he terms abuse of the grand jury process.

"If there was nothing improper about those subpoenas, why were they withdrawn?" Kelberman asked in court papers. "How many more such subpoenas were issued? ... Why is the State Prosecutor hiding this information from the defendant?"
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