First Click -- Maryland
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009:
Coming Soon to Baltimore: Twin Trials of the Mayor
The latest developments in the legal saga of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon are big news in Maryland's other major media market this morning.
A judge on Monday denied a motion by the Democratic mayor of Maryland's largest city to dismiss a perjury indictment against her. She is now likely to face two trials, the first starting next month on charges that she stole gift cards for the needy. The timing of the second trial, on the perjury counts, is less clear.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Dixon appears to be "soldiering on" despite the distraction.
But "it is not good news from the standpoint of her being able to govern," notes Donald F. Norris, chairman of the Department of Public Policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, in a story by Annie Linskey.
The Sun reports that Dixon, when asked how long she expects the legal saga to continue, referred the question to the state prosecutor, saying: "I don't know, you'll have to ask him."
The report of The Daily Record's Brendan Kearney has a more legal tilt. He notes that Dixon's attorneys said they have the right to an immediate appeal, which likely would push the as-yet unscheduled perjury trial into early 2010.
The Associated Press's Ben Nuckols writes that Dixon could be thrown out of office if convicted of any of the charges against her.
While Monday's ruling was a victory for state prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh, it was not a crippling blow to Dixon's defense, David Gray, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, tells the AP.
"That she lost her motion to dismiss, it's certainly disappointing (to Dixon), because I'm sure the mayor would like to get this off her plate as quickly as possible," Gray said. "But I doubt that it is a cause for tremendous despair with her and among her defense team."
Coming Soon in Washington: Confirmation of Tom Perez
After months of delay, the U.S. Senate today is expected to approve the nomination of Thomas E. Perez of Montgomery County to head the Civil Rights division at the Justice Department, The Baltimore Sun reports.
Perez, a former Montgomery County Council member, has most recently served in the O'Malley administration as secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation -- and was recently replaced.
The Sun reports that Perez's nomination is expected to be approved by a comfortable margin, according to aides to Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md).
October 6, 2009; 6:27 AM ET
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