Former Maryland State Delegate Cheryl Diane Glenn of Baltimore was charged with federal honest services wire fraud and bribery. A federal criminal investigation was unsealed Monday alleging Glenn took bribes in exchange for supporting legislation related to medical marijuana, opioid therapy clinics, and liquor licenses.
District Court in Baltimore has scheduled Glenn’s initial appearance and arraignment for January 2020.
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the federal 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,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will hold accountable those who betray the public trust for their own greed.”
Before her resignation, some of Glenn’s duties included representing District 45 as a Maryland State Delegate which covered portions of Baltimore. During that time, Glenn also served as the vice-chair of the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee and the chair of the Banking, Consumer Protection and Commercial Law Subcommittee of the Economic Matters Committee.
The Department of Justice release alleges that Glenn “defrauded the citizens of Maryland of the right to her honest services by soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for her official actions.”
According to the United States Attorney’s office, the charges against Glenn include allegedly accepting $33,750 in bribes from a citizen so Glenn would then support legislation “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.”
The information further alleges that in October of 2018, Glenn “pre-filed legislation to reduce the required experience for medical directors at opioid maintenance therapy clinics in order to receive another $5,000 payment from the businessperson.”
It alleges that Glenn took steps to cover-up her illegal actions.
If found guilty, Glenn could face a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison for honest services wire fraud and five years in federal prison for the bribery charge. According to the press release from the Attorney’s office, federal crimes are rarely sentenced to the maximum allotted time.
It will be up to a federal district court judge to determine Glenn’s sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. “An individual charged by criminal information is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.”
Glenn did not give details about her reason for resigning, but told The Baltimore Sun in a text message Thursday that it was for “personal reasons.”
Maryland’s medical cannabis profits were tracked for 12 months ending in November, it tracked more than $250 million worth of retail sales (pdf).
Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission is named in honor of Glenn’s late mother, Natalie M. LaPrade. Glenn herself headed efforts in streamlining medical marijuana dispensing and use.