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Former Delegate Glenn Charged with Bribery and Fraud

Rachel Baye

Former state Del. Cheryl Glenn accepted $33,750 in bribes between March 2018 and February 2019 in exchange for supporting several bills in Annapolis, according to criminal charges filed in federal court in July and unsealed Monday.

The 68-year-old Glenn — who led Baltimore’s delegation in the House of Delegates until she resigned abruptly last week — allegedly accepted $3,000 in exchange for her vote in 2018 on a bill increasing the number of medical marijuana growing and processing licenses. Prosecutors say she used the money to pay a property tax bill.

Glenn is also accused of accepting $5,000 for changing Maryland law to give local businesses priority in obtaining medical marijuana licenses; $5,000 for filing a bill in 2019 reducing the amount of experience required to become a medical director at an opioid treatment clinic; and $20,000 for helping a restaurant in her East Baltimore district obtain a liquor license.

If convicted, Glenn could face up to 25 years in prison.

Glenn did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The marijuana, opioids and alcohol at the heart of the alleged bribes “affect the health, safety and well-being of thousands of Marylanders every day,” U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said at a press conference Monday.

“Such decisions and votes need to be based on careful analysis and deliberation about which solutions will help keep Marylanders safe and healthy,” he said. “These decisions cannot be made on the basis of who is the highest bidder.”

As a lawmaker, Glenn particularly championed the growth of Maryland’s fledgling medical marijuana industry. The state commission that oversees policies and regulations related to the industry is named for Glenn’s mother, Natalie M. LaPrade, who died of kidney cancer. According to the commission’s website, Glenn believes that had medical marijuana been legal, it would have eased her mother’s pain.

Last year, three other former state legislators were sent to prison for taking bribes.

In addition then-Prince George’s County Del. Tawanna Gaines pleaded guilty in October to federal wire fraud charges, and former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty last month to charges of conspiracy and tax evasion.

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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