BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Questions are swirling around the cases for seven indicted Baltimore City Police officers and whether any fellow officers or members of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office tipped them to the federal investigation.
The officers are accused of stealing from citizens during home searches and traffic stops as the department was under a Department of Justice investigation.
A federal prosecutor made the leak allegations Thursday during detention hearings for the officers.
In a statement to WJZ, U. S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein’s office said, “Federal authorities are continuing the investigation and coordinating with the state’s attorney to determine whether or not there was an unlawful disclosure by a state prosecutor.”
On Thursday, City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she was unaware of the investigation against the officers until it was made public. Her office has had to drop several cases involving them. However, Mosby declined an interview with WJZ Friday.
Mosby’s office would not say whether she is independently investigating any leaks and issued this statement to WJZ:
“The BCSAO was not a part of the investigation that led to these indictments. All inquiries regarding this investigation and subsequent investigations should be directed towards the U. S. Attorney’s office.”
In an interview with WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says, “I’m very aware of the 45-page indictment and facts that are included in that indictment. Very thorough indictment. There are no allegations whatsoever in the indictment that any Baltimore police officers tipped off any of these seven defendants about the investigation. So I have zero knowledge that that’s true.”
Commissioner Davis adds: “I wasn’t in the courtroom when the Assistant U.S. Attorney made remarks to suggest that. I don’t know if he misspoke or not. I think the U.S. Attorney’s office may want to clarify that I’m convinced if any Baltimore police officers tipped off defendants they were the subject of a federal investigation. They too would be in handcuffs.”
The officers are accused of stealing almost half a million dollars in overtime payments and falsifying time sheets. Pugh tells WJZ police overtime costs the city $40 million dollars a year, and she wants an audit to look at every penny. Several of the officers in this case, charged the department overtime while they went on vacation and gambled in a local casino.
The officers were all part of a specialized unit, the Gun Trace Task Force, and prosecutors say the head of that unit was reportedly tipped off by an assistant city state’s attorney to the federal investigation.
Also Friday, Mayor Catherine Pugh broke her silence on the federal probe and called for an independent audit of the entire Baltimore City Police Department.
The officers all remain behind bars right now. The five who have entered pleas say they are not guilty and they are asking for jury trials.
Detective Marcus Taylor was to have been the final officer to have a detention hearing, but that got postponed Friday afternoon. His attorneys, family members, and federal prosecutors would not reveal why, but The Baltimore Sun reports it was due to an “unspecified medical issue.”