Maryland State Senator Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges

Accused of using illegally using his influence

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    A Maryland state senator accused of using his influence to benefit a business pleaded not guilty Friday to the federal charges against him.

    Ulysses Currie, 73, is charged with bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and extortion. Investigators said he used his position as a lawmaker to benefit a grocery store chain, the Associated Press reported.

    The federal indictment alleges Currie aided Shoppers Food and Pharmacy in several dealings with the state without disclosing on ethics forms that he was being paid by the company.

    Currie was ordered to surrender his passport.

    No trial date has been set.

    Curry stepped down as chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee but he is still a senator running unopposed in November's general election.

    He declined to talk to reporters outside the courthouse.