By Cathy Duchamp
Jury selection begins today, November 9, in the trial of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, on charges she stole gift cards intended for needy families.
Mayor Dixon is accused of making purchases at Target, Best Buy, Old Navy and other retail stores with gift cards that developers had donated to the city to give out to the poor.
Dixon has denied any wrongdoing. She says she is feeling good heading into trial. "I take one day at a time in life, there's no guarantee in life, everyday you wake up so I take one day at a time," says Dixon.
The trial stems from a state investigation of Baltimore city finances that has dogged Dixon for more than three years.
But many Baltimore residents are taking little note of it. That includes Serena Hamlett who lives in the Harwood neighborhood of East Baltimore. "If it's true I'm sorry it is, if it's not I'm sorry she had to go through what she went through," says Hamlett. "It just goes to show you nobody's above life, nobody's above a bad decision or whatever."
In addition to theft charges, Dixon faces a second trial over claims she lied about gifts she got from a former boyfriend and developer who got tax breaks from the city.