It’s the season of giving, and what better way to give than to donate gift cards for the needy. That’s what several Baltimore businesses tried to do, but apparently, their Mayor decided she needed help more than her city’s poor.
Today, Mayor Sheila Dixon was convicted of embezzlement for stealing $1000 in Target and Best Buy gift cards donated by the stores. She faces up to five years in prison, and may be removed from office (that is, if she doesn’t serve time). However, I don’t think that’s punishment enough.
Apparently, she was acquitted on two counts of felony theft and one count of misconduct in office, and I can’t seem to understand why. Either she stole $1000 that could have gone to her city’s needy or she didn’t., and if she did, she needs to be prosecuted accordingly. Obviously, since they haven’t removed the embezzlement charge, she’s guilty, so why were the other charges dropped?
Her stealing doesn’t bother me as much as it would under other circumstances. She was indicted in January, meaning she committed this crime during the holiday season in the worst of economic times, right after the financial collapse. True, many people were thinking of themselves more than others at the time, but that doesn’t justify stealing $1000 from people who have nothing and need help the most.
Mayor Dixon says she plans on continuing her term because it is her responsibility. Responsibility or not, however, it’s my opinion that if she’s not removed, she should resign. Prioritizing yourself over your less fortunate constituents is unacceptable, and she should recognize this and act accordingly. It seems common sense that any public figure that’s facing time in prison should bow out gracefully. But then again, it doesn’t seem that Mayor Dixon has any sense at all.