Baltimore mayor to resign under plea deal

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has agreed to resign under a deal with prosecutors a month after her conviction for embezzling gift cards meant for needy families.

Dixon entered an Alford plea to a charge of perjury Wednesday, meaning she admits there is enough evidence to convict her on that charge but does not acknowledge guilt. It wasn’t immediately clear how the plea will affect her previous conviction. Her resignation is effective Feb. 4.

The surprise plea ends the mayor’s drawn-out legal battle. She was trying to get a new trial and if that failed, she could have been thrown out of office.

Dixon was mayor for nearly three years after taking over in January 2007 for fellow Democrat Martin O’Malley, who was elected governor. She was the first woman to hold the job.