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Baltimore Mayor Steps Down

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Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has agreed to resign, after being convicted last month of a misdemeanor involving her use of gift cards meant for needy families.

Dixon was facing a separate trial scheduled for March 1st, on perjury charges. Those charges stem from accusations she did not report gifts from Ronald H. Lipscomb, a developer with whom she had a brief romance.

Dixon today entered an Alford plea to the perjury charges, which means she admits there is sufficient evidence to convict her, but she does not acknowledge guilt.

Because of her earlier conviction, she could have been thrown out of office if she had not agreed to resign. Dixon has been mayor since January 2007, when she took over for fellow Democrat Martin O'Malley after he was elected Governor of Maryland.

Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will replace Dixon, whose resignation goes into effect February 4th.

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