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Trial Against State Senator Continues For Third Week

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The bribery and extortion trial against State Senator Ulysses Currie entered its third week in downtown Baltimore.

Mike Schuh has more on the prosecution's case.

When arrested, the U.S. prosecutor said Currie crossed a bright line by taking money from Shoppers as a consultant while pushing the food chain's agenda in Annapolis. Tuesday, internal memos from Shoppers were used to show the link.

When Senator Ulysses Currie marched into court Tuesday, he was greeted by internal documents from the Shoppers Food Warehouse describing his connection to the company.

The prosecutors say Currie accepted $245,000 from Shoppers over a five-year period. Currie did not disclose what he calls a consulting job on state House ethics forms.

"There are many instances of Currie trying to influence state officials in a way which would benefit Shoppers," said a prosecutor.

On the stand, Kevin Small, the secretary for Shoppers' vice president---who is also charged in this case---wrote to his boss about what Senator Currie has done for the company. He states, "Enclosed is a list of projects that Senator Currie is currently working on with us." He says that Currie has "brought together state officials," "help speed development," and "assisted in transfer of liquor license."

All along, Currie's public defenders have said that what the senator did may be a conflict of interest but that is a long way away from bribery and extortion.

It's expected the defense will get to present its case sometime this week.

Among the politicians expected to testify for the defense: Governor Martin O'Malley, former Governor Robert Ehrlich and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.

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