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Former Maryland lawmaker convicted in liquor bill bribery case

A federal jury convicted former Del. Michael Vaughn, a Prince George’s County Democrat, of bribery and conspiracy on Thursday over a scheme to help some liquor store owners in the county.

Vaughn took $15,000 in bribes as he worked with liquor board officials and a pair of store owners to pass legislation create Sunday liquor sale permits in 2015, according to a summary of evidence introduced at his trial released by federal prosectors. The next year he helped pass another piece of legislation to aid the stores.

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Vaughn resigned from the General Assembly in January 2017, shortly before he was charged in the case. He had been in the legislature since 2003 and was a member of the Democratic leadership team in the House.

A date for Vaughn’s sentencing has not yet been set.

Four other people were charged in the case. They have all pleaded guilty.

The charges against Vaughn came just weeks before Sen. Nathaniel Oaks was also charged by federal authorities. The Baltimore Democrat is accused of taking bribes to aid an FBI informant posing as a businessman. He has pleaded not guilty and continues to serve.

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