CONVICTED

Baltimore Mayor Stole Gift Cards Meant for Poor

This story won't be boosting anyone's holiday spirits. In a blow to Baltimore's image, Mayor Sheila Dixon was convicted Tuesday of embezzlement for stealing approximately $1,500 worth of gift cards meant for the poor. The gift cards were donated by developers, one of whom was an ex-boyfriend of Dixon's. Prosecutors said the mayor used the gift cards to buy items such as a PlayStation 2, a digital camcorder, DVDs, and CDs. The defense argued that Dixon simply misunderstood the gift cards to be a personal gift. State law mandates that Dixon be suspended from her post after sentencing, but her lawyers may appeal the verdict. Dixon's supporters say the case is racially motivated, and object to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent prosecuting a crime of $1,500.