DIXON INDICTED

The Baltimore Sun

WHO'S WHO?

Sheila Dixon

* Baltimore's first female mayor, she assumed the position in January 2007 after Martin O'Malley became governor. She was re-elected later that year.

* The single mother of two became the first African-American woman elected Baltimore City Council president in 1999. She was first elected to the council in 1987.

* She began her career as a kindergarten teacher at Steuart Hill Elementary School and spent 17 years as an international trade specialist with the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.

Arnold M. Weiner

* Dixon's lawyer is one of Baltimore's top defense attorneys.

* He served as lead defense attorney in the prosecutions of Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel and Rep. Edward Garmatz. Mandel's conviction on mail fraud and racketeering charges was vacated in 1987. Bribery charges against Garmatz were dismissed because the prosecution was based on forged evidence.

* The former assistant U.S. attorney and Maryland assistant attorney general was referenced in the Laura Lippman novel Butchers Hill as a top Baltimore attorney. His daughter, Deborah Weiner, is a reporter for WBAL-TV.

Robert A. Rohrbaugh

* The Maryland state prosecutor has led a three-year investigation into City Hall corruption, culminating in this week's indictments of Mayor Sheila Dixon, developer Ronald H. Lipscomb and City Councilwoman Helen L. Holton.

* The former assistant federal prosecutor and private Montgomery County attorney was appointed to his current post by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in 2004.

* He took a leave from his law practice in 1997 to assist a congressional investigation into allegations of illegal contributions to former President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign and is the former president of the Montgomery County Republican Club.

Ronald H. Lipscomb

* The prominent Baltimore developer had a romantic relationship with Dixon in 2003-2004.

* As head of Doracon construction company, he helped develop the Four Seasons hotel and condominium tower and the $90 million Spinnaker Bay residential tower in Harbor East.

Helen L. Holton

* The city councilwoman from the 8th District has served since 1995.

* She is a certified public accountant and chaired the council's Taxation and Finance Committee until this week, when she was removed pending the resolution of charges against her.

TIMELINE OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST DIXON

2004

Jan. 15: Dixon uses a $2,000 gift certificate for a furrier, purchased by an employee of "Developer A," to buy a Persian lamb coat and burnt umber mink coat.

Jan. 23: Developer A, while at the Ritz Carlton in Avon, Colo., uses his American Express card to pay for $257.94 in expenses incurred by Dixon and charged to the developer's room.

Feb. 18 to Feb. 20: Developer A uses his credit card to charge more than $3,200 in travel, meals, lodging and other expenses while he and Dixon are in New York City. The charges are paid by Developer A's company.

March 16: An employee of Developer A charges on his personal credit card $1,518.20 for a plane ticket from Baltimore to Chicago for a passenger listed as Sheila Dixon.

March 24: Developer A charges $371.88 in toners, brushes, facial cleansers and moisturizers at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago.

March 25: Dixon uses her American Express card to charge $7,853.17 at Chicago stores including Saks, Giorgio, Coach and St. John Boutique, as part of more than $9,500 in charges during the trip.

April 2: Minutes after the last of three calls between Dixon's cell phone and Developer A's cell phone, another of the developer's employees cashes a corporate check for $15,000, which he gives to the developer.

April 9: $6,000 in cash is deposited by ATM into Dixon's checking account.

May 6: Dixon hands 40 $100 bills to a city employee and asks him to deposit the money into his personal bank account and write a $4,000 check toward her American Express bill. Three hours after the employee makes the deposit, Developer A calls Dixon's private number.

May 7: The city employee writes a $4,000 check on his account for payment of Dixon's American Express bill.

May 8: Dixon writes a $4,000 check payable to American Express.

May 10: $2,000 in cash is deposited into Dixon's savings account. A call is made from Dixon's cell phone to Developer A's cell phone.

Dec. 16: An employee of Developer A cashes a $2,000 corporate check, listed in the stub entry as "cash donations for needy families." That afternoon, Dixon calls Developer A twice. That night, 15 Best Buy gift cards for $50 each are bought with cash, and two of them are later used by Dixon toward the purchase of a video game, CDs and DVDs.

2005

Dec. 13: Another employee of Developer A cashes a $1,500 corporate check for "Christmas gift card." Dixon asks "Developer B" to buy gift cards for needy Baltimore families, and the developer uses a personal credit card to buy $500 in Best Buy gift cards and $500 in Target gift cards.

Dec. 14 to 15: Amid calls between phones connected to the Developer A employee and Dixon, $950 in Target gift cards are bought with cash.

Dec. 18 to Jan. 29, 2006: In a series of shopping trips to Best Buy and Target, Dixon uses 21 gift cards bought by Developer B, along with the gift cards bought with cash, toward merchandise including a digital camcorder, a PlayStation 2 controller and other electronics.

2006

Dec. 21-23: Dixon uses gift cards that had been bought by an employee of Developer A toward electronics and clothing. A city employee uses gift cards bought by the Developer A employee to buy a Sony PlayStation Portable, using Dixon's address and home phone number. At a holiday office party, Dixon gives another city employee a Sony PlayStation Portable and distributes various gift cards to her staff and others.

2007

Dec. 12, 17: A city housing employee buys Toys "R" Us gift cards for distribution to underprivileged children during the Mayor's Holly Trolley event Dec. 20.

Dec. 21: Dixon gives to a member of her staff a Toys "R" Us gift card purchased by the city housing employee.

2008

June 17: Five of the Toys "R" Us gift cards bought by the city housing employee are found at Dixon's home.

what's next

* Dixon will enter a plea at her arraignment in Baltimore Circuit Court in the next few weeks.

* The mayor's attorneys say they will ask a judge to dismiss all charges.

* Dixon will remain in office, continuing to oversee the powerful Board of Estimates spending panel, unless she is convicted.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"I am very saddened to hear about the indictments that have just come down against Mayor Sheila Dixon. My prayers go out to her and her family. I am confident that she will be found not guilty of all the charges that have been brought against her. During her tenure as Mayor, she has done a remarkable job in continuing the renaissance of the City of Baltimore."

State Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, chairman, Baltimore Senate delegation

"Mayor Dixon is an effective public servant who has worked tirelessly for the citizens of Baltimore. I wish Mayor Dixon the best as this difficult case continues and allegations are answered as part of the legal process. My prayers are with the Mayor and her family during this challenging time."

Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, City Council president

"The City of Baltimore has made solid progress under Mayor Dixon. This is a tough day for all of us who care about Baltimore's progress, and for Mayor Dixon and her family. It is my sincere hope that all of these long drawn out matters will soon be resolved in a court of law once all the facts are known."

Gov. Martin O'Malley

"This is a sad day for Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon and a sad day for Baltimore. We must allow the legal process to run its course and remember that Mayor Dixon is innocent until proven otherwise. Sheila Dixon has been an excellent Mayor. She's been a good steward for Baltimore with a reputation for a can-do attitude and follow-through."

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski

"Mayor Dixon and her family are in my thoughts and prayers."

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings

"Once again the culture of corruption is rearing its head amongst Maryland Democrat politicians. Of course these two are innocent until proven guilty, but the loose ethics of that we have seen exposed this past year. Maryland needs leaders that will hold themselves to a higher standard and not abuse the public trust. Change is definitely in order for Baltimore, Annapolis and Maryland as a whole.

James Pelura, chairman, Maryland Republican Party

"Everybody needs to remember that this is an indictment, not a conviction. Sheila has done a commendable job as mayor and the city and the region are better for it. Special prosecutors have a mixed record getting convictions and it is not easy."

George from Bel Air, commenter on baltimoresun.com

"Ms. Dixon was ethically challenged long before she became mayor. It appears that she's been cleaning up her act recently, now that the spotlight is on her and she has more to lose. Although she has turned out to be a pretty good mayor, no one is above the law and she should pay the price for the tricks she pulled when she thought no one was watching."

Debbie from Baltimore, commenter on baltimoresun.com

"I think the Prosecutor should be run out of town if this is all he has come up with after 2003. ... Pathetic."

Buz, commenter on baltimoresun.com

"[Dixon was never] a favorite of mine, and never cast a vote for her. But I give the lady credit: she's made some good choices for city government priorities, and hired some very skilled people to implement solutions. I'm sorely disappointed by the behavior the indictment describes, but as a city taxpayer, I'm also sorry to see her leadership crippled."

CharlotV, commenter on baltimoresun.com

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