- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2008

FBI agents were at the home of a prominent state senator from Prince George’s County yesterday after serving a search warrant at the headquarters of a supermarket that he worked for as an outside consultant.

Richard Wolf, a spokesman with the FBI’s Baltimore field office, said agents went to the District Heights home of Sen. Ulysses Currie but wouldn’t say why agents were at the residence or whether a search warrant had been served.

Mr. Currie, who told reporters that he has not been charged with a crime, met with an attorney, Dale Kelberman, yesterday in Baltimore after being accosted by FBI agents at his home early in the morning.

Mr. Kelberman, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland, concentrates on white-collar criminal defense cases. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Mr. Currie said FBI agents were outside his home when he left at about 6:30 a.m. yesterday. He said he had not talked to the FBI before.

“When I walked out of the yard here … the FBI pulled up this morning and said: ‘We’re the FBI,´ ” Mr. Currie told reporters in his driveway last evening.

Agents served a search warrant at the headquarters of Shoppers Food Warehouse in Lanham, the FBI spokesman said.

“The FBI has told us they are working on an investigation related to Senator Currie, who is an outside consultant for the company,” said Shoppers spokeswoman Haley Meyer.

After talking with agents at his home, Mr. Currie said he left while the agents remained there. He said there were “at least eight, nine, 10” agents at his home.

Asked what the FBI was investigating, Mr. Currie replied: “I don’t know. Again, I would prefer you talk to the lawyer. The lawyer asked me to, you know, allow him to make the comments.”

When asked about the connection with the supermarket, Mr. Currie said: “I don’t know. I mean, I really don’t know. I don’t know. The lawyer said limit my discussion with the media, with my wife, with my family, with my dog, with my kids.”

Mr. Wolf disclosed both events when asked about the agents at Mr. Currie’s home but would not discuss how the two were related.

A Shoppers Food statement issued yesterday said, “Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and SUPERVALU were contacted this morning as part of an FBI investigation. The FBI has told us that they are working on an investigation related to one of our service providers. We are cooperating fully with the FBI and cannot provide additional detail at this time.”

Mr. Currie, 70, is one of the most influential lawmakers in Maryland.

The Democrat leads the budget-writing committee that steers state spending and is sometimes mentioned as a possible successor to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who has said he may retire after this term.

Mr. Currie said he did not know what the results of the investigation would be, but he said he wasn’t worried.

“One, it doesn’t help to be worried,” Mr. Currie told reporters. “I think, two, you’ve got to be realistic to know they can always find something.”

Mr. Currie then pointed out that he is involved in a lot of state business as chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

“I’m involved in a lot of stuff,” Mr. Currie said.

A top aide to Mr. Miller, Vicki Gruber, said Mr. Miller would not comment on the investigation and hadn’t heard why agents were there.

“We really don’t know anything,” Mr. Gruber said yesterday afternoon. “We’re really as surprised as anybody.”

A former teacher and longtime Prince George’s resident, Mr. Currie this year worked on a legislative effort to rescue the financially troubled Prince George’s Hospital Center.

Mr. Currie was elected to the Senate in 1994, after serving eight years in the state House.

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