Our reporter Doug Donovan is sending updates from the coutroom today, as opening statements are set to begin in the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon.
Opening arguments started shortly after 1 p.m. and ended nearly two hours later.
For Maryland state prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh, the case is all about Sheila Dixon and how she stole gift cards donated for the needy by two developers. Such a theft by a public servant is "unspeakable," Rohrbaugh said. He detailed the thefts with a thorough presentation that followed the receipts.
For the defense, Arnold Weiner said the case is all about how one of the developers, Robert Lipscomb, cannot be believed because he was protecting himself from charges by turning on his former lover. The gift cards were given to Dixon for her personal use by Lipscomb, a man who had been her boyfriend. He didn't give the cards for a needy families campaign. Other witnesses against Dixon, Wiener said, could not be believed because they had cut deals or had been given immunity to testify against Dixon. Wiener implored the jury to remove "the stain" that prosecutors have placed on Dixon and find her not guilty.