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Md. Sen. Currie to face ethics panel soon

Saturday - 1/7/2012, 10:20am  ET

WASHINGTON - A Maryland state Senator that was acquitted by a jury in the fall will face the ethics panel as one of the first tasks the Maryland General Assembly will undertake when it returns for their annual 90-day legislative session.

Maryland state Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George's Democrat, could face sanctions for failing to disclose work he did for Shopper's Food Warehouse that paid him more than $245,000 between 2003 and 2008.

The ethics committee could recommend anything from a reprimand to removing Currie from office if they find a violation.

He's already lost his powerful role as a committee chairman.

A date has not been set for when the 12 members of the committee are expected to consider Currie's case.

The ethics hearing is not open to the public, although the lawmaker who is the subject of the complaint could waive confidentiality. The committee could waive confidentiality on a three-fourths vote if disclosure of information is needed to uphold the integrity of the investigation.

If the panel decides to recommend sanctions, they will become public once they are forwarded to the Senate for a vote. The General Assembly's 90-day session is scheduled to begin Jan. 11.

If no violation is found or if the acts don't warrant discipline, the proceedings will remain confidential, said William Somerville, the General Assembly's ethics counsel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)