Governor Hogan’s Demands for Accountability Need Answers Now
A federal grand jury has indicted Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby on federal perjury and mortgage fraud charges. If convicted, Mosby faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each of two counts of perjury and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for each of two counts of making false mortgage applications.
According to her indictment, Mosby lied in her Covid relief application by falsely certifying that she met at least one of the CARES Act qualifications and was experiencing adverse financial consequences from the Coronavirus as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, or laid off; having reduced work hours; being unable to work due to lack of childcare, or the closing or reduction of hours of a business she owned or operated. Mosby had not experienced any such financial hardships. She received her full gross salary of $248,000 and had uninterrupted bi-weekly gross pay direct deposits of $9,183.54.
Next, Mosby is alleged to have lied on applications for a $490,500 mortgage to purchase a home in Kissimmee, Florida, and a $428,400 mortgage to buy a condominium in Long Boat Key, Florida. Mosby also responded “no” about any IRS delinquency in each application. Instead, she had unpaid federal taxes from several previous years and, the IRS had placed a $45,022 lien against all her and her husband’s properties. Finally, she signed a “second home rider,” which provided, among other things, that she would occupy and use the property as a second home and not use it as a rental, even though she had already signed an agreement with a rental management company. [i]
The Mosby indictment recalls her exchange of words last month with Governor Larry Hogan. Just after Baltimore’s death toll had surpassed 300 homicides for the seventh year in a row, Governor Larry Hogan made a series of announcements to address violent crime in Baltimore City.
“People are being shot nearly every single day in Baltimore City, and we all have an obligation to do something about it right now,” said Governor Hogan.
“I want those families and all the victims of this violence to know that we will not stop pursuing those criminals who are terrorizing our community, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to make these neighborhoods safer and to get these violent shooters off the streets.”
Among his actions, the Governor directed his Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services to conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation of all funding provided to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.[ii]
Mosby fired back at the Governor hours later, calling Hogan’s remarks a “political stunt” and comparing him to former President Donald Trump, who she said used the city as a punching bag.[iii] According to Mosby: “For the governor to come out today and say that my prosecutors, they don’t do their jobs, that they don’t prosecute violent criminals, that they don’t sweat blood and tears for the safety of everyone in the city, is a disgraceful lie.”[iv]
Mosby may have loudly complained about Hogan’s desire for accountability. Yet, according to her office’s statistics, during the first 7 months of 2021, it obtained just 7 homicide convictions – one a month. This, even though the Baltimore murder pace has been over 25 per month for several years.[v]
Just days before the Hogan-Mosby exchange, Adam Chaudry, a top Baltimore City homicide prosecutor until as recently as last summer, was himself charged criminally. According to state authorities, he is said to have illegally subpoenaed phone records to stalk and harass the women he dated and threatened a criminal investigation to extort money.[vi]
“We just want to make sure that the state taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. We’re not really freezing it. We’re doing an immediate review. We’re hoping that we get the cooperation out of the State’s attorney’s office,” Hogan said.
With a State’s Attorney facing years behind bars, Baltimore’s murder rate up, and a feeble State’s Attorney homicide conviction rate, Baltimore deserves more of Governor Hogan’s oversight.