A Maryland state lawmaker who resigned last week allegedly pushed for laws on medical marijuana and alcohol licensing in exchange for more than $33,000 in bribes, according to a federal criminal information unsealed Monday.
Cheryl Diane Glenn, 68, represented Baltimore as a Maryland state delegate until her resignation on December 18. The criminal information charges her with honest services wire fraud and bribery charges, the US Attorney’s Office said.
“We expect our elected officials to put the interests of the public above their own. We do not expect them to sell their office to the highest bidder,” US Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement. “The US Attorney’s Office will hold accountable those who betray the public trust for their own greed.”
CNN is reaching out to Glenn for comment.
A criminal information is a formal set of charges that is made by an official, as compared to a criminal indictment, which must be presented to a grand jury. Generally, a criminal information is used when the defendant does not contest the accusations.
According to federal prosecutors, Glenn took $33,750 in bribes “in exchange for voting in favor of a bill to increase the number of medical marijuana grower and processing licenses that were available to an out-of-state company; promising to lead the effort to change the law in order to provide a preference for Maryland residency to in-state medical marijuana license applicants; introducing legislation that decreased the number of years of experience required to be a medical director of an opioid maintenance therapy clinic; and introducing legislation that created a class B alcohol and liquor license in District 45.”
The transactions occurred between March 4, 2018, and April 11, 2019, the information states. She is scheduled to be arraigned January 22 in federal court in Baltimore.
Glenn had been a member of the Maryland state House since 2007. Before her resignation, she served as the vice chair of the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee and the chair of the Banking, Consumer Protection and Commercial Law Subcommittee of the Economic Matters Committee, according to her online biography.
She tried to hide her actions, prosecution says
In June 2018, Glenn and her associate met with another businessperson in Baltimore to discuss medical marijuana licenses, according to the information. Glenn allegedly told the person that others had asked her how a medical marijuana company had gotten a medical marijuana growing license without any high-priced lobbyists, the information says.
“They know God and Cheryl Glenn,” Glenn allegedly responded.
The businessperson ultimately offered $10,000, split between Glenn and the associate, the information says. Glenn then agreed to take the lead in changing the law so that Maryland residents received a preference for medical marijuana licenses, according to the information. On August 23, 2018, the associate allegedly gave Glenn $5,000 in cash at a Baltimore restaurant, the information states.
In another instance, Glenn allegedly agreed to introduce legislation to get a liquor license for a restaurant that a businessperson wanted to open in Glenn’s district, the information states. In exchange, Glenn received an initial payment of $5,000 and a later payment of $15,000 after she introduced the bill, according to prosecutors.
Glenn also took a number of steps to hide her actions, including creating a false loan note for the $15,000 bribe, the information states.