By Meymo Lyons
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has received probation before judgment under a plea deal that required her to step down from office.
Dixon declined to address the court this morning as she was sentenced. She has already submitted her resignation, which took effect at noon. City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was then sworn in as mayor.
Dixon was convicted of embezzling gift cards donated to the city for needy families and lying about gifts from her former boyfriend, a prominent developer.
Judge Dennis Sweeney says Dixon is receiving "a heavy penalty, a badge of dishonor that she will live with for the rest of her life." But Sweeney also says Dixon was fortunate to get the plea deal because the cases against her "were strong if not indeed overwhelming."