Opening statements expected in Ulysses Currie case

BALTIMORE (AP) - Opening statements in the federal case against a prominent Maryland state lawmaker accused of using his influence to benefit a grocery store chain are expected to take place in Baltimore.

Attorneys are set to give opening statements in U.S. District Court as early as Tuesday morning in the case against Sen. Ulysses Currie, a 74-year-old Prince George's County Democrat.

Prosecutors contend Currie was paid more than $245,000 from Shoppers Food Warehouse between 2002 and 2008 to use his influence to do favors for the company. He is charged with bribery and other offenses.

Currie chaired the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, which steers state spending. But he stepped down from the position last year when he was indicted. He is still a state senator. The trial could last six weeks.

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