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Delegate Dwyer Raises Constitutional Challenge to Mayor's Pension

Thank you, Delegate Dwyer, for standing up for the Maryland Constitution and bringing this issue into the public discourse!

Yes, we do have a Constitution in this state, and apparently in state government only Del Dywer has bothered to read it. Is this just another of those pesky documents that our legislators don't choose to read?

Please call Del Dwyer and encourage him in his pursuit of Constitutional government.

You can, and should, read the Md Constitution here
and then call those cc'd below and tell them you support Del Dwyer, you've read our Constitution and you suggest they get a copy to read, too.

Subject: FOR RELEASE FRIDAY JAN 8th - Delegate Raises Constitutional
Challenge to Mayor's Pension
Please distribute

Office of State Prosecutor

Robert A. Rohrbaugh

300 East Joppa Road
Hampton Plaza, Suite 410
Towson, MD 21286-3152

January 8, 2010

Dear Mr. Rohrbaugh,

As a member of the Maryland Legislature and the House Judiciary committee I
am concerned with media reports that Mayor Shelia Dixon has been permitted
to resign her position as Mayor while facing a conviction and sentence that
would ultimately have resulted in removal without pay or benefit. As I
understand, the Mayor was "convicted" on December 2. 2009 buy a Jury
regarding the improper use of gift cards.

The state constitution under Article XV required that the Mayor be suspended
without pay or benefit upon conviction. That suspension should have taken
place on December 2nd.

Under the plain and clear language of Article XV not only was the Mayor not
suspended, she has now been given the opportunity to take an Alford plea
(nolo contendere) in a separate perjury case that derived from the original
case. As result of the "deal" she has retained the "benefit" of a lifetime
pension and been cleared of the original conviction. As I read it, this is
in direct violation of the state constitution.

Now that the deal has been cut, what happens to the original case and the
conviction that required suspension without pay or benefit? When will she
be sentenced under the original conviction of December 2nd?

Would you please explain in detail how the Mayor is allowed a pension and
how this is permissible under the law when the requirements of the state
constitution under Article XV clearly prohibit it?

Article XV Sec. 2
Any elected official of the State, or of a county or of a municipal
corporation who during his term of office is convicted of or enters a plea
of nolo contendere (an Alford plea) to any crime which is a felony, or which
is a misdemeanor related to his public duties and responsibilities and
involves moral turpitude for which the penalty may be incarceration in any
penal institution, shall be suspended by operation of law without pay or
benefits from the elective office.

Also explain why the Governor has not acted as instructed by Article XI Sec.
6, to remove the Mayor.

SEC. 6. The Mayor shall, on conviction in a Court of Law, of wilful neglect
of duty, or misbehavior in office, be removed from office by the Governor of
the State, and a successor shall thereafter be elected, as in a case of

Given the clear language of Article XV and XI, I respectfully request that
the state consider an immediate reversal of the pension on the grounds that
the state constitution specifically prohibits it. I would also ask that the
Governor act immediately in accordance with Article XI to remove Mayor Dixon
from office.

Maryland citizens are outraged at the outcome of this trial and the
possibility that the Mayor will receive a pension for life.

Your prompt response would be greatly appreciated.

Constitutionally yours,

State Delegate Don H. Dwyer, Jr.

c.c. Governor Martin O'Malley

Maryland Attorney General Gansler

Speaker of the House

President of the Senate

Chairman, House Judiciary Committee


Contact Delegate Don Dwyer

Delegate Raises Constitutional Challenge to Mayor's Pension

Annapolis Maryland - Delegate Don Dwyer, Jr. of Anne Arundel County has
released a letter sent today to State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh. Mr.
Rohrbaugh represented the state in the case against Mayor Shelia Dixon in
the case involving the misuse of gift cards.

Dwyer contends in the letter that the state constitution prohibits the state
from allowing Dixon to receive a lifetime pension after being convicted by a

On December 4th just two days after the conviction, Dwyer is said to have
had a heated phone conversation with Maryland Attorney General Douglas
Gansler regarding the removal of Dixon from office. Delegate Dwyer
challenged Attorney General Gansler to read Article XV of the state
constitution for himself and insisted that action be taken in accordance
with the state constitution.

"Maryland citizens are outraged that the Mayor would be entitled to a
pension after being convicted of a crime. The dirty little secret is that
she is not entitled to anything according to the state constitution" Dwyer

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