Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dipped into her campaign coffers last year to pay nearly $50,000 to lawyers defending her in a federal criminal probe, despite Maryland law prohibiting such expenditures.
That probe resulted in Mosby’s indictment last Thursday on four counts of perjury and misrepresentations on her mortgage applications to purchase two Florida condominiums.
Since the indictment, her chief legal defender, A. Scott Bolden, has held a press conference and conducted numerous media interviews declaring her innocence and accusing federal prosecutors of personal and racial bias toward his client.
Hired by Mosby last March after a federal grand jury issued subpoenas for her campaign and private travel business records, Bolden has been well paid, according to her campaign report filed late last night with the State Elections Board.
It shows that Friends of Marilyn Mosby, the finance committee Mosby chairs and whose report she signed under oath as accurate, paid $37,500 to Bolden’s Washington D.C. law firm, ReedSmith LLC.
Additionally, Friends paid another $10,229.60 to Baltimore criminal defense lawyer Granville Templeton III, who has been a vocal critic of Baltimore Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming, who issued a scathing report last February about Mosby’s out-of-town travel and lengthy absences from her job.
Chapter 33.13.10.03 of the Code of Maryland Regulations forbids campaign committees to pay the “legal defense costs or expenses” of an officeholder or candidate unless they relate to an investigation or action ”resulting from the conduct of the campaign or election.”
It Happened Before
This is the third time since winning her second term in office that Mosby has used campaign funds to handle personal legal problems.
When The Brew disclosed last year her use of campaign funds to pay Kramon & Graham, which represented her in Cumming’s investigation, Mosby’s political committee issued a statement saying “there was never an intent to mislead.”
The Friends committee said on Facebook that it had “ceased using campaign funds” for legal costs.
The retired chief of investigations for the State Prosecutor’s Office, Jim Cabezas, publicly called on prosecutor Charlton T. Howard to investigate the fee to Kramon & Graham.
But no charges have so far been issued by Howard’s office – and the $3,250 in funds have never been replenished to the Friends committee, state elections records show.
Nor has Mosby reimbursed the committee for $11,000 paid to Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, whose partner, James Webster III, wrote a threatening letter to a former assistant state’s attorney who was critical of Mosby’s job performance.
Last spring, Mosby and her husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, whose campaign and business records were also subpoenaed by the grand jury, organized a legal defense fund.
While “The Mosby 2021 Defense Fund” offers various payment plans online, the names of its administrators and the amount of funds collected and disbursed have not been publicly disclosed.
$194,000 Cash Discrepancy
Mosby said her committee raised over $189,000 in 2021 and the first two weeks of 2022.
The report cites the Friends’ current cash balance as $193,953.23, but then reports $387,906.46 – or precisely double that balance – in the committee’s account at The Harbor Bank of Maryland.
There is no explanation for the discrepancy.
The bulk of funds collected by Mosby came from a November fundraiser at Baltimore Soundstage and in the final weeks of December and early January.
Following last week’s indictment, Mosby said she will not resign and is expected to run for a third term as state’s attorney, with the critical Democratic Party primary looming in June.
Among those who contributed to her campaign since news of the federal investigation broke last March:
- J.P. Grant, the Columbia-based financier who admitted paying $100,000 to former Mayor Catherine Pugh shortly before she was sworn into office in 2016. Grant was never charged in the investigation ($2,500).
- Kimberly Morton, former COS for mayors Pugh and Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who promoted Mosby’s early career as an assistant state’s attorney ($250).
- Nick Mosby ($6,000) through his campaign committee, which also reported spending $40,000 to pay Kostelanetz & Fink, the law firm of his personal defense attorney, Caroline Ciraolo, as well as $12,500 to Bolden’s ReedSmith, which initially represented him in the federal probe.
- Former Baltimore mayor and current president of University of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke ($500).
- Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, headed by longtime Mosby supporter, attorney “Billy” Murphy ($2,200).
- Ronald H. Lipscomb, who testified to lavishing gifts on former mayor Sheila Dixon during the state prosecution that led to Dixon’s conviction and resignation ($1,000).
- Kevin Liles and other executives at 300 Entertainment, the New York record label of Young Thug, Megan Thee Stallion and Mary J. Blige ($7,850).
- Phillip Stokes, principal of events manager greiBO and husband of Downtown Partnership CEO Shelonda Stokes ($2,600).
- Former City Councilman Carl Stokes ($500).
- Annapolis Coalition of Black Progressives PAC ($6,000).
- Julie Greenwald, a Brooklyn-based executive at Atlantic Records ($6,000).
- City Councilman Antonio Glover ($450).
- Campaign committee of Councilman Yitzy Schleifer ($2,000)
- Baltimore City Police Officer Kalman Finkelstein ($2,500).
- Janice Bledsoe, acting Baltimore chief deputy state’s attorney ($2,000).
- A. Scott Bolden, listed as “Alan Bolden” ($1,000).
- Emanuel Bailey, president and CEO of DC09, a vendor for the D.C. Lottery ($6,000).
- Carletta Higginson, head of global music publishing for Google ($6,000).
- Criminal defense attorney Brian Thompson and his law firm Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White ($2,500).
- Criminal defense attorney J. Wyndal Gordon ($2,000).
- Criminal defense attorney James Rhodes and his law firm ($2,750).
- Jada McCray, COO and co-owner of BTST Services, who contributed $7,000, or $1,000 over the legal campaign limit in Maryland.