Real Life Imitates The Wire, Again: Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon Indicted

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, frequently critical of The Wire for its “overly negative” portrayal of crime and corruption, was indicted today after a three-year investigation.

Dixon was charged with four counts of perjury and two counts of theft over $500, as well as theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in office. The charges stem in part from gifts she received from former boyfriend and developer Ronald H. Lipscomb, who was also charged earlier this week.

A grand jury indicted Dixon on 12 counts, including four counts of perjury and two counts of theft over $500. She was also charged with theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in office.

Dixon, a Democrat, has been the target of a nearly three-year probe by State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh into corruption at City Hall, an investigation that has centered on allegations that Dixon has used her office to award lucrative contracts to various people including her sister, her then-boyfriend and her former campaign chairman.

Oh man, this doesn’t look good:

Some of the charges center on gift cards that Dixon received from two real estate developers. According to the indictment, Dixon told one of the developers that the gift cards were going to be distributed to needy families in Baltimore. Prosecutors say that in December 2005, when Dixon was City Council president, she used 19 of 20 Best Buy gift cards for herself, purchasing personal items, including a digital camcorder, a PlayStation 2 and other electronics.

Prosecutors say that in December 2006, she used Old Navy, Best Buy and other gift cards intended for needy families for an Xbox 360, a PlayStation Portable, clothes and other items for her own use.

More, from The Sun

Below, Mayor Dixon in happier times:

Life imitates The Wire? Maybe not…

The complete five season box set release has spawned some new Wire reviews and recs.

Ran across this article at CNN.com.   The reviewer offers high praise for the series but grew up in West Baltimore and says he feels The Wire is bleaker than the world he grew up in.

Why did Cutty give Dukie such a hopeless answer? Maybe it’s because some people who never lived in a neighborhood like “The Wire” confuse hopelessness for authenticity. Yeah, I could shock you with stories of violence, but it’s so easy to slip from revelation to titillation. I start off telling you a story about how tough my school was, and soon I’m shooting it out with five drug dealers who want to steal my homework.

But I never remember West Baltimore being so hopeless. A man like Cutty wouldn’t tell a young man that he had no way out — adults rallied around kids with potential.

I even checked with some childhood friends — one who is now an undercover police officer who literally works a “wire” for the Baltimore Police Department — and we all agreed that “The Wire’s” bleakness was exaggerated.

“They made it seem like we grew up in Bosnia,” my friend, another “Wire” fan, told me.

The writer points out another scene that did ring true for him, though.  Read the full article.

Life imitates The Wire, episode 11,876

Rachel Maddow had Princeton’s Melissa Harris-Lacewell on last night to discuss the drama surrounding seats in the US Senate opened by Obama’s appointments. Naturally, the discussion focused primarily on the Blagojevich scandal.  Watch the entire segment to hear Dr. Harris-Lacewell’s parting admonition:

View “Rachel Maddow video: Senate scramble

Omar the Socialist vs Joe the Drug Dealer

If WordPress.com allowed embedding of Comedy Central videos, you would be watching David Simon on last night’s Colbert Report right here in the comfort and ambience of NuPac.

But noooooooooo, they don’t.  So, here.

I love that David Simon always seems cranky, even when he’s laughing.

Down to The Wire today in Raleigh

Well, it WAS his favorite show, after all

This is good strategery, given that Maryland is already strong blue.

via Huffpo

Tomorrow, members of the cast of the Peabody Award-winning drama series The Wire will attend a Backyard Brunch for Barack in Raleigh. Seven of the show’s cast members will visit the Tarheel State in support of the change Barack Obama will bring across the country and in North Carolina.

Chad Coleman (who plays Dennis “Cutty” Wise), Deidre Lovejoy (who plays Rhonda Pearlman), Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield), Clarke Peters (Detective Lester Freamon), Sonja Sohn (Detective Shakima “Kima” Greggs), Seth Gilliam (Sergeant Ellis Carver), and Gbenga Akinnagbe (Chris Partlow) will all appear at the backyard brunch on Sunday.

On Monday, Chad Coleman, Deidre Lovejoy, and Jamie Hector will visit UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University to encourage students to vote early. Early voting in North Carolina started October 16 and November 1 is the last day voters may take advantage of early voting.

Simon’s tribute to Ashley: video now up

The video from the DePaul University College of Communication commencement has been posted. David Simon’s introduction and remarks start at about the 27 minute mark.

Thanks again to Jim King for keeping on top of this for us.

More about Simon’s decision to speak at the ceremony here and here.

“I owe him a trip to Chicago and a morning spent in a funny hat and gown.”

A surprise from today’s Chicago Tribune

David Simon pays tribute to a ‘Wire’ fan

It’s not terribly unusual for television writers to form bonds with the people who watch their shows. What David Simon is doing for a “Wire” fan this weekend, however, may be a little unusual.

Simon, the creator of “The Wire,” will be in the Chicago area Sunday to receive an honorary degree and to deliver the commencement address for DePaul University. Simon’s appearance at the ceremony, which will take place at Rosemont’s Allstate Arena, sprang from his desire to pay tribute to Ashley Morris, a DePaul assistant professor and “Wire” fan. Morris recently passed away at the age of 44. Morris was a New Orleans resident and a noted local blogger, and he taught in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media (he commuted weekly to Chicago to teach). In addition to being a hardcore Saints fan and Warren Zevon devotee, Morris was an avid “Wire” viewer. He became friendly with Simon via Web sites devoted to the show, and one site, Got That New Package, posted an online tribute to Morris when he passed away on April 2. The community of New Orleans bloggers also deeply mourned his passing. I’ll quote here from an obituary supplied by DePaul: “The NOLA bloggers, rising in response to an unimaginable tragedy, quickly found themselves steering different parts of the beast,” wrote noted Louisiana political cartoonist Greg Peters, on his blog, Suspect Device. “Ashley was fire. Ashley was the furnace where the rage was forged, where the steam pressure built, where raw anger began its conversion to power and motion.” (The full DePaul obituary for Morris is at the end of this item. The New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary is here.) Reading that, it’s not hard to understand why Simon liked Morris. Continue reading

Info re David Simon @ DePaul commencement

Thanks to Jim King for info re David Simon’s involvement in the upcoming DePaul commencement activities. Per the DePaul site, the date of the ceremony is June 15. (at the improbable hour of 8:30 a.m.)

For those who may not have been around earlier, here’s the backstory.

HBO has crack

There are some very entertaining wastes of time over on the HBO site. Check out the eye candy at The Wire Season 5 NY Premiere. We’ve seen some of these before, but there are a few new pictures, including a dearly departed character.  It’s a slideshow so be sure and hit “Next.” These folks sure do clean up good.

There’s also a blurb about Steve Earle and “Down in the Hole” but I have to say that Blake Leyh’s claim that Earle has never recorded a cover of someone else’s song is pure crap.

Finally, there’s a ‘The Wire’ Public Record last ditch marketing ploy tribute.

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