BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby bashed Gov. Larry Hogan hours after the governor criticized her office’s efforts to combat violent crime in the city and threatened to block funding to the state’s attorney’s office.
At a press conference Tuesday, Mosby called Hogan’s remarks a “political stunt” and likened the governor to former President Donald Trump, who she said used the city as a bunching bag. In addition to Mosby, Hogan has attacked every Baltimore City mayor and police commissioner since taking office, she said, suggesting Tuesday’s remarks were designed to help Hogan seek higher office.READ MORE: Baltimore County Officer Opened Fire On Driver Trying To Flee Traffic Stop: Police
“Quite candidly, he’s more concerned with pointing the finger at everyone else, as opposed to actually leading and delivering for a city that is the heartbeat of this state,” she said.
In particular, Mosby challenged Hogan’s claim her office does not prosecute violent offenders, saying a recent policy to not pursue certain charges only applies to minor offenses such as low-level drug possession and prostitution.
“I’m not talking about violent carjackings or armed robberies,” she said, adding that a Johns Hopkins study has shown the strategy is effective.
Earlier Tuesday, Hogan singled out Mosby’s office during a press briefing as he bemoaned the level of violence in Baltimore City, including the high-profile murders of a barber, a church employee, a 5-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl.
“Maryland taxpayers deserve to know that the millions of dollars in funding that the state provides each year are being used to actually prosecute criminals and to keep them off the streets,” he said.
Hogan ordered a review of state funds allocated to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and called on Mosby’s office to provide data on the number of cases they have chosen not to prosecute and why, the number of cases pled down to lesser charges, and the number of violent offenders who are given plea deals.
The governor also announced plans to introduce legislation during an upcoming special session that would strengthen sentences for violent crimes committed with guns and track the sentences handed down by judges for violent crimes.READ MORE: Shootout Between Cars Speeding In Hampden Rattles Otherwise Quiet Neighborhood
State funding for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office will remain pending until an evaluation is completed, he said.
Mosby said she would have been happy to share her office’s data with the governor if he had asked.
Since courts resumed operations during the pandemic, Baltimore prosecutors have an overall conviction rate of 97%, including 18 guilty verdicts in murder cases compared with three not-guilty decisions, she said.
Mosby did not have a figure off-hand for the total amount the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office receives from the state, but she said there are several grants through the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and her office submits the required data in the application process.
“I just got the letter after his press conference asking for additional items that he wants to make contingent upon further funding,” she said. “And what I’m saying is, that’s easy, I’m willing to provide that.”
Two other local officials responded to Hogan’s remarks by calling for more collaboration between the city and the state.
Mayor Brandon Scott suggested restarting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, a program the governor defunded in 2017 because he said the group was ineffective.
Senate President Bill Ferguson labeled Hogan’s legislative proposals as “performative politics” and called on the governor to work with state and local agencies to come up with more immediate solutions for crime before the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes.MORE NEWS: ‘It’s Probably Everywhere’ Concern Grows About Omicron Covid Variant In Maryland As Positivity Rate Jumps Above 5%; Hogan To Speak Wednesday
“There are proactive solutions we can work together on now and we hope the Governor sincerely comes to the table and takes more comprehensive actions going forward,” he said.