- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2008

ANNAPOLIS | Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said Wednesday that he is “not the least bit” concerned about the wide-ranging scope of a subpoena for records in a federal investigation into a prominent state senator.

Mr. Miller said he thinks Sen. Ulysses Currie’s consulting work for a grocery store chain, which Mr. Currie did not reveal as required in financial disclosure reports to the State Ethics Committee, was “a very isolated incident.”

“I hope and pray it is,” Mr. Miller said. “I believe it is. I think if Senator Currie had done some untoward things, I would have known about it.”

Mr. Miller talked about the investigation after being questioned by reporters at a news conference where he announced that he planned to run again in 2010. Mr. Miller said he is not worried that the investigation could expand to include other members of the Senate.

“Many of my colleagues make what I consider missteps - minor missteps - and it’s generally pointed out to me very quickly, and we bring them in and we talk to them,” Mr. Miller said. “We counsel them.”

Mr. Currie, 70, a Democrat, is chairman of the Senate’s powerful Budget and Taxation Committee, which is in charge of steering spending in the state’s $32 billion budget.

Mr. Miller praised Mr. Currie as a widely respected senator and good friend, who came from a humble background in segregated North Carolina to get a hard-earned education to become a teacher and help others. Mr. Miller said he thinks he would have known if Mr. Currie “was doing something untoward.”

“If it comes down to the issue of disclosure, not disclosing, that’s certainly wrongdoing, but I don’t think it’s a matter for the FBI,” Mr. Miller said. “So I think they were looking for something else, and I’m not sure whether they found it or not.”

In a subpoena made public Monday, federal investigators have requested computer files and documents from Mr. Currie and his staff. Investigators also want “all documents contained within the offices of: the Maryland Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, its subcommittees, the committee’s staff, or the subcommittee’s staff,” according to the subpoena.

Last week, FBI agents searched Mr. Currie’s District Heights home on the same day they searched the headquarters of Shoppers Food Warehouse, for which Mr. Currie works as a consultant.

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