State Sen. Ulysses Currie, in a letter Tuesday to Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr., rescinded his resignation from the Maryland Senate.
The Nov. 29 letter, obtained by The Daily Record moments after a brief interview with Currie, cites the senator’s growing dissatisfaction over a process to name his wife as his successor — a process Currie said was becoming unduly political.
“Since my announcement, it has been nothing but petty political jockeying and deal-making, with only the 2018 election in mind,” Currie wrote. “This has created a level of divisiveness and discord I have rarely seen in Prince Georges County and which I cannot allow to continue.”
Currie announced his resignation on Nov. 4 after 30 years in office in a letter to Miller.
“It is my deep love for my constituents and the Maryland Senate, combined with the recognition that I can no longer serve with the strength and energy you all deserve,” Currie wrote on Nov. 4.
A spokesman for Miller declined to comment on Currie’s letter rescinding his resignation.
Currie, in his letter, said he had expected his wife, Rev. Shirley A. Gravely-Currie, would succeed him and round out the remaining two years of his term, stepping down to allow an election battle in 2018.
“Knowing so many would like to run for this seat in two years, I believed the most unifying choice would be an individual who knows the district as well as I do but had no intention of running for office in 2018,” Currie wrote.
Currie wrote that his wife “courageously put herself forward to fulfill this role as no other person came forward without the intention of using the appointment to gain an election advantage over others.”
Currie then informed Miller he intends to rescind his resignation.
“I may be weary at times but will turn to my faith to assist me in continuing to do good for my loyal constituents that they may reap the harvest of my good work,” Currie wrote. “It remains my great hope that any who would run for this office in 2018 will do so without outside interference, in the spirit of selfless service, and with the dignity and political civility that the people of the District 25 deserve.”
His resignation was to take effect Dec. 1. Currie’s decision to pull back his resignation poses no legal issues since he had not officially vacated the position.
“A resignation takes place either on the effective date or upon any other date that triggers the constitutional provision for vacancy, whichever occurs first. Since neither had yet occurred, it was a pending resignation so the member could modify or withdraw it. As a pending resignation it was merely a statement of intent not yet acted upon and thus, not a vacancy,” according to a statement provided by the Office of the Attorney General.
Currie, the son of a North Carolina sharecropper, was elected to the General Assembly in 1986. He spent three decades as an educator and principal, and his love of education became part of his legacy as legislator.
He rose to become the chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.
He was acquitted of federal extortion and bribery charges in 2011 in connection with a consulting contract in which he accepted payment from Shoppers grocery stores, allegedly in exchange for political favors. But even though he was acquitted, Currie accepted censure from the Senate for ethics violations related to the same case. He resigned his chairmanship and publicly apologized to the Senate.
That legal case and ethics issue empowered Del. Melony Griffith to challenge Currie in the 2014 election, but she was unable to unseat him.