- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 1, 2008

ANNAPOLIS (AP) - The federal probe of state Sen. Ulysses Currie, Prince George’s County Democrat, could be expanding to include legislative records, a legislative staff member said.

Lynne Porter, an executive assistant to Karl S. Aro, the head of the Department of Legislative Services, said the state attorney general’s office forwarded a draft copy of a federal subpoena to her office Friday.

The nonpartisan agency provides an array of services to legislators, including computer assistance.

The delivery of the draft subpoena follows a search of the influential lawmaker’s District Heights home by FBI agents on Thursday, the same day agents searched the headquarters of a supermarket company for which he acted as a consultant.

Mr. Currie has not disclosed the relationship with the supermarket company, Shoppers Food and Pharmacy, to the state’s ethics commission.

A spokeswoman for Washington’s Metro subway system said that Mr. Currie attended two meetings over the past two years dealing with a proposal by Shoppers’ to build a store on about 3 1/2 acres owned by Metro at its West Hyattsville station, which is outside Mr. Currie’s district, according to a news report.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein was quoted as saying that Mr. Currie accompanied Charles Deegan, then a member of the Metro Board, to a meeting in late 2006 at which Metro officials explained the agency sells land only to local governments or private companies through competitive bidding.

About six months ago, Mr. Currie also participated in a meeting with Metro officials where Shoppers executives and representatives of several Prince George’s agencies discussed whether the public Prince George’s Redevelopment Authority could buy the land for use as a Shoppers store, Ms. Farbstein said.

Discussions on the proposal faded when Prince George’s officials could not agree on how to proceed, the Metro spokeswoman said.

Ms. Farbstein said that Mr. Currie’s appearance was a “complete surprise” and that the head of Metro’s planning and development department did not know of any ties between the senator and the grocery chain at the time.

The Metro spokeswoman said the agency has not been contacted by the FBI about the talks.

Brad Frome, a legislative aide to Prince George’s County Council member William A. Campos, said he also attended the meeting.

“He didn’t say much,” Mr. Frome said of Mr. Currie, adding he was not aware of any links between the state senator and the company. “It seemed more like he was someone who wanted to see things get worked out.”

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