The state senator accused of bribery is set to make his first appearance in federal court at a hearing Sept. 17. Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George's County Democrat, is expected to plead not guilty.
The senator was indicted last week for allegedly accepting $245,000 in payments from Shoppers Food Warehouse in exchange for his help removing state bureaucratic hurdles. He stepped down from his position as chair of the senate's Budget and Taxation Committee to focus on his defense.
Currie's attorney, Dale Kelberman, describes the arrangement as a consulting position and says it is similar to the outside employment many of the state's legislators hold during the nine months that the General Assembly does not meet. Shoppers is headquartered in his Prince George's County district.
Two former executives from the chain were also indicted and one of them, former president William White, is also scheduled to appear Sept. 17. The other, former vice president for real estate R. Kevin Small, does not yet have a court date set.