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Robert K. Hur, U.S. States Attorney for the District of Maryland, right, announces federal wire fraud and bribery charges against former state Del. Cheryl D. Glenn on Monday. The charges answered the question of why Glenn resigned her position, but raised other questions.
Robert K. Hur, U.S. States Attorney for the District of Maryland, right, announces federal wire fraud and bribery charges against former state Del. Cheryl D. Glenn on Monday. The charges answered the question of why Glenn resigned her position, but raised other questions. (Amy Davis)

But the charges, filed by federal prosecutors in July and made public Monday, raised many other questions.

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Glenn is accused of accepting bribes for her action on legislation about medical cannabis, opioid treatment centers and an alcohol license in her Baltimore district. Here’s a look at what we know and don’t know in the case against the 68-year-old Democrat.

Who gave the alleged bribes?

Prosecutors cited four bribes Glenn allegedly accepted, totaling $33,750.

None of the people who allegedly paid those bribes were named in charging documents, and Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert Hur would not identify them.

It is alleged that the CEO and an associate from a marijuana company licensed in another state and seeking to do business in Maryland were involved, as was a Maryland-based businessman interested in the medical marijuana industry, opioid treatment and obtaining a liquor license in Glenn’s district.

Baltimore Democrat Cheryl Glenn, shown during a House of Delegates session in April, resigned her position as delegate and was charged with federal wire fraud and bribery charges.
Baltimore Democrat Cheryl Glenn, shown during a House of Delegates session in April, resigned her position as delegate and was charged with federal wire fraud and bribery charges. (Paul W. Gillespie, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Other people allegedly acted as middlemen.

Other legislators are mentioned in the case — “Senator 1” and “Senator 2,” as well as “Delegate 1” — but they are not alleged to have done anything wrong.

Comments attributed to Glenn in charging documents suggest that there might have been payments made by others as well.

She is quoted by prosecutors as saying, “I’ve had a lot of donations from other people who wanna get in the business, and they’re kind of donating to me, you know um, I guess because they want me ... to the degree that I can an advocate for them.”

It is unclear whether anyone else will be charged. Hur wouldn’t say Monday, but said, “There is more in the criminal process to come.”

Glenn’s arraignment and initial appearance in court are scheduled for Jan. 22. If convicted, she faces up to 25 years in prison. Her attorney, William C. Brennan Jr., said any comments by him or his client “will be made in court.”

Did Glenn or anyone else cooperate with authorities?

It is unclear whether Glenn has cooperated with federal authorities since the charges were filed against her in July. Some legal observers note that a lag between the filing of charges and them being unsealed — five months in Glenn’s case — can indicate cooperation by a defendant.

In a July motion to seal the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Hines wrote that “premature disclosure” of the charges against Glenn “may cause associates of the Defendant to flee or conceal evidence of offenses that are actively being investigated by the FBI.”

Hur declined to say whether Glenn’s resignation as a delegate came as part of negotiations with his office.

The charging documents contain information — private conversations between Glenn and associates that are quoted at length — that suggest recordings might have been made. Hur would not say whether associates of Glenn were cooperating and wearing wires or whether there were wiretaps in place.

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“At this point in the criminal process, we let the evidence speak for itself," Hur said. "What I will say is that the detail and the thoroughness of the evidence that’s been laid out in the criminal information is a testament to the skill of the FBI investigators who were involved in this matter as well as to the prosecutors in my office, whose work I’m extraordinarily proud of.”

What are lawmakers saying?

Leading lawmakers in Annapolis declined to say whether the General Assembly will take any action as a result of the allegations.

House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat, did not respond to requests for comment.

Sen. Bill Ferguson, the Baltimore Democrat who is expected to be the next Senate president, said lawmakers would "continue to enforce the strong ethics laws that help to convict wrongdoers, and protect the people’s faith in our institutions of democracy.”

Sen. Brian Feldman was co-chair of a Senate-House conference committee on the 2018 medical cannabis bill that Glenn allegedly took a bribe to influence, and he played a key role in ironing out the final details. Feldman said the bill represents sound public policy in expanding the number of licenses for growing and processing medical cannabis in Maryland.

“Although this is concerning, I don’t think at the end of the day where we ended up in 2018, and where the program is right now, is being impacted by any one or two individual lawmakers,” the Montgomery County Democrat said.

He noted that lawmakers in other states who are considering medical cannabis have researched Maryland’s program, which he believes is “something of a model.”

What will the cannabis commission do?

William Tilburg, executive director of the state’s medical cannabis commission, said in a statement that he didn’t know Glenn was under investigation, and that the commission was “disappointed” by the news.

He said the commissioners cannot comment on ongoing criminal matters, but plan “to carefully examine additional information as it becomes available in order to determine any next steps.”

The cannabis commission already is having two independent reviews conducted of the licensing process for the round of licenses that were created in the 2018 legislation. Those reviews were in the works before Glenn was charged.

Who will take Glenn’s seat?

Applications are being accepted from individuals who wish to be appointed to Glenn’s seat and fill out the remainder of her term, which runs until January 2023.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has the final say on the appointment, but he must select someone recommended by the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee.

An applicant must be at least 21 years old, a registered Democrat, a resident of the city’s 45th Legislative District for six months and a resident of Maryland for one year. Resumes should be sent to baltimorecitydems@gmail.com by 5 p.m. Jan. 8. That’s the first day of the 2020 General Assembly session.

The Central Committee’s members for the 45th district will hold interviews and vote Jan. 13.

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