Cheryl Glenn, a former Democratic lawmaker in Maryland representing parts of Baltimore, has been sentenced to two years in prison for taking bribes for legislative favors, including voting to benefit a medical cannabis company, the Star Tribune reports. Glenn had been a staunch supporter for creating social equity in the state’s cannabis industry.
Glenn admitted to accepting $33,750 in five bribes over an 11-month period from 2018 to 2019. The first was a $3,000 payment in exchange for voting favorably to increase the number of medical cannabis cultivation licenses from 15 to 22 and capping processing licenses at 28. She accepted another $20,000 in bribes for requesting a bill be drafted to create new liquor licenses, and another $5,000 bribe for introducing a measure to lower the number of years of experience required for a medical director of opioid clinics.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake also ordered Glenn to pay $18,750 in restitution and called the former lawmaker’s actions as more than a “one-time lapse.”
“It was not a momentary giving in to temptation. It was a deliberate scheme to take advantage of her political power and misuse her influence and to break the public trust in exchange for money.” – Blake in her ruling via the Star Tribune
Prosecutors had sought a three-year sentence for Glenn. Her attorney, William Brennan, argued for a sentence of probation and home detention saying he didn’t think incarceration was necessary for his client who “has otherwise lived an exemplary life.”
Prosecutors said Glenn was “instrumental” in creating the state’s medical cannabis industry. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is named after Glenn’s mother, Natalie LaPrade.
Glenn pleaded guilty in January to bribery and honest services wire fraud.