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Former Maryland state lawmaker accepted bribes for support of medical marijuana, alcohol licensing laws, authorities say

A former Maryland state delegate accepted more than $33,000 bribes in return for her support for medical marijuana and alcohol licenses, according to federal criminal information unsealed Monday. 

The criminal information charges former Maryland state Del. Cheryl Diane Glenn (D) with federal honest services wire fraud and bribery charges. The unsealed information was filed on July 23. 

Glenn, scheduled to appear for her arraignment on Jan. 22, resigned from her position serving portions of Baltimore last week. 

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The Hill has reached out to Glenn for comment. 

“The criminal information alleges that from at least March 4, 2018 through February 11, 2019, Glenn defrauded the citizens of Maryland of the right to her honest services by soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for her official actions,” the U.S. attorney’s office said. 

Glenn allegedly accepted $33,750 in bribes from an associate “in exchange for voting in favor of a bill to increase the number of medical marijuana grower and processing licenses that were available to an out-of-state company; promising to lead the effort to change the law in order to provide a preference for Maryland residency to in-state medical marijuana license applicants; introducing legislation that decreased the number of years of experience required to be a medical director of an opioid maintenance therapy clinic; and introducing legislation that created a class B alcohol and liquor license in District 45.”

According to the criminal information charges, Glenn met with her associate and another businessperson in June 2018 at a restaurant in Baltimore to discuss medical marijuana licenses. 

Glenn allegedly told the businessperson that people had asked her how a medical marijuana company had been awarded a growing license without having any high-priced lobbyists, according to the information. 

“They know God and Cheryl Glenn,” she allegedly responded. 

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Glenn allegedly agreed to introduce legislation to give the local business priority for a $5,000 payment, and the associate allegedly gave Glenn the $5,000 cash during a meeting on Aug. 23 at a Baltimore restaurant. 

Prosecutors also allege Glenn “took steps to conceal her illegal activities.” According to the criminal information charges, Glenn agreed not to deposit “bribe payments’ in her bank account. She also allegedly agreed to meet in person to discuss the details “of bribes” rather than on a phone. 

She also allegedly created a false loan note for the $15,000 bribe payment and falsely stated the money was a gift and “in no way connected to her position as a State Delegate.” 

Glenn faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the charges. 

“We expect our elected officials to put the interests of the public above their own. We do not expect them to sell their office to the highest bidder,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will hold accountable those who betray the public trust for their own greed.”

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