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Old Friend Heads Currie Defense Fund

Rosalind Helderman

This morning, we reported on the creation of the legal defense fund to support Sen. Ulysses Currie. A website has been created for the fund.

The organization's leader is Bobby Henry, an attorney who is now representing the family of Ronnie White, an inmate found struggled to death in his cell at the Prince George's jail in June, hours after he was charged with killing a county police officer.

Henry is also a minister who preaches at Jericho City of Praise in Landover. And he's been a political candidate as well. He has run for the House of Delegates and twice for the Maryland Senate. In 2006, he made a strong showing, coming within 2.6 percentage points of winning the senate seat once held by Sen. Leo E. Green. That seat was instead won by Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters, who went on to become the only Prince Georgian besides Currie to sit on the body's powerful Budget and Taxation Committee.

Currie stayed neutral in that race because of his friendship with both men. Peters said Monday that he is confident that he will have Currie's support for reelection in 2010. He added that he believed the creation of the fund was the "next logical step" for Currie, given the extent of his legal fees and a summertime ruling that he cannot use campaign funds to pay them.

Henry scoffed at the notion that he might get involved with the fund to secure Currie's support for a possible future political run. He said he's been friends with Currie for years and that both are proud alums of North Carolina A&T University. Henry said Currie served as a mentor to his nephew, who graduated not long ago from Syracuse University, where he had been elected the first African-American student body president.

"When he can help my family like that, and he didn't have to help him, why wouldn't I try to help this guy?" Henry said. "I'd like to think that I could help someone with his background and with all the contributions he's made without some sort of speculation that there is a quid pro quo."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  February 10, 2009; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman  
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