The federal grand jury indictment this week of Maryland state Senator Ulysses Currie on bribery charges brought a word of caution for other legislators from Barry Pollack, who represented former state Senator Tommy Bromwell, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence for similar offenses. "Any prosecutor could review a lawmaker's accounts and come up with a list of potential problems," said Pollack. He noted that with part-time lawmakers in the General Assembly, the system makes it easier for accusations of wrongdoing, because officials often seek out additional employment that could pose conflicts of interest.
Pollack said Currie's best defense will be to show his work for Shoppers did not compromise his regular duties for the Senate. "The question is whether his actions were in the best interest of the people of Maryland," Pollack said. "He needs to show that what he was doing is exactly what he would have done if no consulting relationship existed. "If a jury believes the only reason he was paid was so that [Shoppers] could have a state legislator in his pocket, then he's in trouble."