By Rebecca Blatt
Some are criticizing the plea deal that Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has accepted. It requires that she resign, but prosecutors are defending it. Dixon already was convicted of misappropriating gift cards for the needy and was to be tried for perjury in March.
Dixon's criminal record will be wiped clean if she satisfies the terms of the agreement -- including a $45,000 charitable contribution, 500 hours of community service and 2 years of probation.
State Prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh denies the agreement is a slap on the wrist.
"If you're a mayor of a major city, and you've lost your job and you're not being able to be employed by the city of Baltimore or the state of Maryland for several years, I think that's a major slap on the wrist. It's beyond a slap on the wrist," Rohrbaugh says.
Dixon promises a smooth transition as she prepares to step down on February 4th when Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore's city council president, will become mayor.
She was elected to the city council in 1995, and followed Dixon as council president in 2007.