Delegate doesn't want Dixon to get pension
Dwyer also wants Baltimore mayor booted from office now
Del. Donald H. Dwyer is invoking provisions of Maryland's constitution to contend that Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's conviction prohibits her from receiving a lifetime pension.
He also contends that the state Constitution requires Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) to remove her from office after her conviction.
Dixon resigned last week as mayor, effective Feb. 4, as part of a plea for not reporting thousands of dollars worth of gifts from a former boyfriend who was a developer and her conviction in December for spending $500 in gift cards donated for charities.
O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec noted that Dixon's plea deal, if accepted, would give her probation before judgment.
Dwyer has complained and looked to State Prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler for answers.
Gansler's response to Dwyer referenced a 1977 attorney general's opinion on the definition of conviction.
The opinion says a person is not convicted until sentenced. Probation before judgment, successfully completed, would obviate a sentence and, thereby, also obviate a conviction, according to the opinion.
Dwyer contends that Dixon cannot get a pass, because the state constitution specifically says that "elected official[s]" who are convicted or plead no contest to a felony or misdemeanor related to public duties shall be suspended without pay or benefits.
"Case law doesn't supersede the state constitution," Dwyer (R-Dist. 31) of Glen Burnie said in an interview. "They can't make a special provision because someone doesn't want to take her pension away it's just wrong."
"That's a little scary, to think justice would not be applied equally, no matter who you are," said Gansler's spokeswoman Raquel Guillory.
Not being convicted would open the way for Dixon to begin collecting an annual pension, now at $83,000, on Feb. 4, her sentencing date.