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Ethics report on Currie expected to be made public Thursday

ANNAPOLIS — An ethics report that could include sanctions for Maryland state Sen. Ulysses Currie for failing to disclose more than $245,000 he received as a consultant for a grocery store chain between 2003 and 2008 was expected to be made public soon, the Senate president said Thursday.

Thomas V. Mike Miller told senators during session that they will receive a copy of the report by the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics in the afternoon. The report was expected to be posted on the General Assembly’s website later in the day. Miller said he expected the Senate to vote on the recommendations Friday, with a presentation by the panel’s chairmen and an opportunity for Currie to respond.

“I’m confident that it’s going to be resolved tomorrow,” Miller, D-Calvert, told reporters after session.

Currie, D-Prince George’s, could be censured, reprimanded or expelled. The committee’s 12 members, including Democrats and Republicans, have not commented on their findings, which were developed in closed-door meetings. Currie was present at one of the meetings with legal counsel.

Miller said the report received a unanimous vote by committee members.

The matter has hung over the former chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee since his home was raided by the FBI in May 2008. Currie stepped down from his position on the panel that steers billions of dollars in state spending when he was indicted in federal court in 2010. Currie was acquitted in November of all charges in a federal bribery case.

In that case, the senator was accused of selling his influence as a powerful chairman to benefit Shoppers Food Warehouse. While Currie did not disclose the payments in state ethics forms as required, he paid taxes on the income. Jurors said that while they thought the case presented conflicts of interest, they did not believe the senator’s actions were criminal.

The Senate has not voted on sanctions against a senator since the expulsion of Baltimore Democrat Larry Young in 1998. Young, who was the first lawmaker expelled from the Senate in 200 years, was cleared the next year of charges he accepted bribes from the owner of a health care company seeking state approval to serve Medicaid patients.

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