Baltimore’s Mayor Sheila Dixon was convicted of embezzlement yesterday. According to The New York Times, the jury found her guilty of using gift cards, intended for poor city residents, for personal gain.
The Mayor faced five charges related to the gift cards that she used, with the most serious being felony theft. She was cleared of three, but the jury was split on the fourth, which the state prosecutor says could be refiled in the future.
“The city will still continue to move forward,” Sheila assured while leaving court. She will have to return for trial next March for two counts of perjury for failing to report gifts.
The Baltimore mayor was accused of using about $1500 in gift cards that were donated by developers to poor families in her city. Sheila maintained that she thought they were personal gifts, since one of the giving developers, Ronald Lipscomb, was her ex-boyfriend. She used the money to buy video games, a digital recorder, CDs and DVDs.
Sheila, an African-American and the first woman to hold that office, received mixed support from Baltimoreans, according to The Times. Many felt that she was being picked on by the Republican White prosecutor, Robert Rohrbaugh, while others were disgraced that she committed the theft.
It’s unclear whether Mayor Dixon will continue to serve in her position.
– Whitney Teal