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Mobtown Beat

Crime Coordinator Charged With Crimes

Charles Village Benefits District public safety worker accused in theft scheme

By Edward Ericson, Jr.

12:14 PM EDT, July 17, 2014

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A disbarred lawyer who has been working part time for a city agency on public safety matters has been charged in a theft scheme. 

A criminal information filed on June 30 charges Sharon L. Guida with one count of theft between $10,000 and $100,000, and one count of forging private documents. A title company executive is listed as a witness in the case.

“I can’t comment,” Guida says when reached by telephone.

Guida, 62, is the Coordinator, Community Outreach Services for the Charles Village Community Benefits District, a 20-year-old quasi-governmental agency that uses a property tax surcharge to fight crime and grime in north-central Baltimore neighborhoods. Guida is or has been on multiple boards in the neighborhood and once ran the Charles Village Community Foundation Board, a non-profit that was closely associated with the benefits district. She organizes crime walks in the neighborhood. She was honored by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in 2012 as  one of “Baltimore’s top neighborhood moms.” 

Formerly a lawyer, Guida was disbarred by consent in October of 2012 “for signing multiple individuals' names to various documents filed with the Register of Wills without authorization,” according to the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission. The new charges, which appear to involve forged title insurance policies, appear to be unrelated to the disbarment.

Stephen Gewirtz, a Charles Village resident, brought the criminal case to the attention of benefits district Executive Director David Hill last week with an email asking about the district’s policies regarding criminal charges against employees working on public safety matters. “The board of CVCBD needs to consider the questions that I posed to Mr. Hill, and it needs to develop a policy concerning employees charged with serious crimes, especially when an employee who has been charged has become the public face of CVCBD's anti-crime efforts,” he wrote to Hill and the district’s board of directors.

“He never got back to me,” Gewirtz says. “He usually does.”

Hill says he doesn’t comment on personnel issues. He adds that his organization is subject to city and state personnel rules and laws, which it follows. He confirms that Guida works part time for the district.

Gewirtz has been a critic of the district for many years; he sued it three separate times in the mid 2000s. “I don’t trust a lot of people in the benefits district, so certain people I check case search on every night,” he says. “All of a sudden this case [against Guida] popped up.”

Guida is also facing foreclosure on her Maryland Avenue residence, court records show. She is scheduled to be arraigned on the criminal charges on July 24.