Read ESSENCE’s exclusive interview with Sheila Dixon »

It has taken nearly three years of investigating and analyzing evidence but Maryland state prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh announced Friday that Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has been indicted on 12 counts, according to the Associated Press. The charges include perjury, theft and misconduct in office stemming from allegations that Dixon accepted expensive gifts from a developer she used to date and awarded a well-paid contract to her sister.

She issued a statement this afternoon saying, “There is something I want to tell the citizens of this great city about the charges that the State Prosecutor has brought against me today.

“For the past two years, I have done my best to serve the City of Baltimore as Mayor, and I will continue to do so. I will not let these charges deter me from keeping Baltimore on the path that we have set, or from carrying forward the significant progress we have made thus far.

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“I am being unfairly accused. Time will prove that I have done nothing wrong, and I am confident that I will be found innocent of these charges. But, for the moment, I cannot comment further on the allegations that have been made against me. Instead, my attorneys will address these matters on my behalf.

“I want to make it clear, though, that I will continue to put all of my energies into running the City of Baltimore during these perilous economic times. And with God’s grace, I am confident that the city, my family and I will weather this storm.”