The mayor faced 5 charges, was acquitted on 3, deadlocked on one, and found guilty of the last. Facing sentencing for embezzlement, the Mayor’s continued service to the city is now in question.
Many in the community and in local city government believe the Mayor should step down or be forced to leave after being convicted of this misdemeanor charge. It’s not the amount of embezzlement they are concerned about but rather the loss of trust they now have towards Dixon.
The misdemeanor conviction was for using gift cards that were purchased by Developer Patrick Turner for the “children of Baltimore.” They were a charitable donation to the city but were used by Dixon to purchase things for herself and her aides, according to the Baltimore Sun report.
The investigation in this case dates back to March 2006 and involved raids on her home and interviews with people in the Mayor’s close circle. The company that donated the gift cards in question is owned by Dixon’s former boyfriend.
Her defense team argued that Dixon believed the cards were from her boyfriend at the time, Lipscomb, and when they arrived in an unmarked envelope she had no other indication that they weren’t intended for her usage. That argument ultimately failed.
Embezzlement is considered a fraud related white collar crime and is essentially theft from your employer. Because Dixon’s employer is the city of Baltimore and the people as well, it is unclear right now what will become of her job.
As for her sentence, Dixon could face time in prison, though this is not likely. More likely, because of her clean criminal record, Dixon will be sentenced to serve some sort of probation, whether supervised or not.
Being charged with theft or any white collar crime can be humiliating and this case just goes to show it can happen to just about anyone. If you are facing criminal charges in Maryland of this nature and need help, contact me immediately.