On the Eve of African People’s Tribunal, Baltimore Mayor Indicted by State Prosecutor
By Nnamdi Lumumba
BALTIMORE, MD – On January 9, 2009 Shelia Dixon, Baltimore City’s first female mayor, was indicted by a grand jury on 12 counts of corruption, including four counts of perjury, three counts of theft, and three counts of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and two counts of misconduct.
Shelia Dixon is one of three people the Baltimore chapter of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement is putting on trial at its March 14, 2009 tribunal for crimes against the African community. Her indictment by the state comes as no surprise to us, however, the depths of the crimes under the Dixon administration still need to be exposed.
Dixon, a neo-colonialist African politician, has built her career on servicing parasitic white power at the expense of the African community in general and the African working class in particular. The indictment comes after 3 years of investigation sparked by the recent exposure of her relationships with the city’s black petty bourgeoisie.
In 2006, it was uncovered that Dixon steered no-bid government work to Dale Clark, her former campaign chairman, paying him an estimated $600,000. Dixon attempted to evade detection by keeping the payments to under $5,000 each, avoiding the need to be approved by the Board of Estimates.
Dixon also had a personal relationship with an African real estate developer, Doracon Contracting President Ronald H. Lipscomb, which she never revealed to city officials. Throughout the course of her relationship, Lipscomb was awarded multimillion-dollar development projects while she sat on the decision-making boards doling out the contracts.
One allegation in the indictment charged that Dixon illegally made use of gift cards donated to the city for her own benefit. These cards were by contributed by African-owned land development companies and were intended to be given to poor families,
The combined total value of gifts Dixon accepted or misappropriated is under $25,000; however, we are clear, Dixon’s activities are typical of the kind of kleptocracy the black petty bourgeoisie sets up, in the name of the African community, to serve its selfish class interest at the expense of African workers. The charges brought against Dixon represent the fallout from contradictions between various sectors of the city’s ruling class, and are not charges that honestly attempt to defend the masses of African workers and poor people from corrupt officials.
Nowhere in the charges do we see mention of Dixon’s allegiance to the energy giant Constellation or indictments against her for selling the people out, leaving us with enormous electrical rate increases while the Constellation/Dixon team reaps massive profits and kickbacks. No where does the indictment charge her for the increasing numbers of unjustifiable police murders of African men and women and no where does it charge her with assisting banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America in deepening the housing crisis for regular African workers.
Dixon’s relatively minor charges are the result of forces like leading developers C. William Struever and Donald C. Fry, head of the Greater Baltimore Committee who have lost their monopoly on development contracts in the city. These capitalist forces have used the State’s Attorney’s office to rid themselves of a political opponent under the guise of justice, part and parcel of the general defense strategy employed by the ruling class.
It will be InPDUM’s African People’s Tribunal held March 14, 2009 at Sojourner Douglas College that will put forward the real offenses that the Dixon administration has committed. Standing trial with her will be Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld and the former Baltimore City Mayor and current Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.
The real major crimes against the people are committed in broad daylight, carried out by the police thugs and anti-black institutions throughout this city.
Ultimately, it will be the Tribunal that wins justice for African people in this city. It will go far deeper than any state’s grand jury would ever think to look in order to expose injustice in this city.
Forward to Baltimore African People’s Tribunal!