He did it | Thursday, December 18

The former head of the Charm City Circulator program pleaded guilty in federal court to bribery and money laundering charges. An investigation of Barry S. Robinson, the former division chief of the Baltimore Department of Transportation’s Transit and Marine Services, found that Robinson took nearly $90,000 in bribes in exchange for unused bus shelters and off-the-books advertising on the Circulator. Robinson is not the only DOT employee recently accused of financial crimes.

Students from Heritage High School opposing the closure of their school protested through a Baltimore City school board meeting last night, causing board members to walk out of the public meeting for nearly a half hour. With the school board AWOL, the protesting students took over the meeting, hearing community complaints about the slate of school closures before the board. When the board returned, they voted to close Heritage and four other schools, while holding off on a sixth potential closure.

The school board is justifying the closures as a cost-cutting measure – enrollment is down across the school district. The eventual goal is to use new funding from the state and federal government to renovate and build new facilities. Last night’s protesters and others, such as city councilman Brandon Scott, question whether the consolidation plan is the best use of existing resources, as some of the closing schools are in better shape than ones staying open.

Must read: part two of the Sun’s series on the unseen impact of violence focuses on the struggles of family members that care for victims.

Bob Caret will take over as the new Chancellor of the University System of Maryland.Caret is currently the president of the University of Massachusetts and was previously the president of Towson University. Caret will have to grapple with Maryland’s pending budget shortfall, which could trickle down to the university system. Last week, University of Marland College Park announced a hiring freeze.

Serial’s last episode went live today. The Sun has a profile on Rabia Chaudry, the activist that brought the Hae Min Lee case to Sarah Koenig. WMAR looks at Maryland’s Innocence Project, which re-investigates on behalf inmates that may have been falsely convicted. David Zurawik took a break from his weekly whine about the Ravens telecast to whine about Serial.