Currie's former campaign treasurer guilty of theft
Olivia Harris, the former campaign treasurer to Sen. Ulysses Currie, pleaded guilty to theft over $100,000 this afternoon in an Anne Arundel County Court, according to the Office of the State Prosecutor.
Harris withdrew $157,350 from Currie's campaign account from January 2007 to April 2010, prosecutors said. The money was spent "for personal use" according to the prosecutors, but they did not detail what she bought.
"Campaign officers are fiduciaries of the contributions that are committed to them," said State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt in a statement. "When they violate that trust, we will hold them accountable."
Harris worked as Currie's treasurer for 16 years and left her position in August shortly before she was charged. She could be imprisoned for 25 years.
Prosecutors said "there was no indication" that Currie, who once chaired senate's powerful Budget and Taxation Committee, was aware of the theft. Harris did not report the ATM withdrawals on campaign finance reports, prosecutors said, which meant the amounts in Currie's campaign account were "greatly over reported."
Last year Currie, a Prince George's County Democrat, was indicted on federal bribery and mail fraud charges after an unrelated investigation. He relinquished his chairmanship to focus on his defense in that case, but remains in the senate.
State prosecutors began probing Currie's campaign account after stories in The Sun showed that he was using his campaign money to pay for his federal defense attorney despite a letter from the Attorney General's office saying such use was prohibited. Currie's private attorneys disagreed, but he is now using a public defender in the federal case.