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Former state corruption investigator requests probe into Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby’s financial filings

The state’s former lead public corruption official has asked Maryland’s State Prosecutor to investigate Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s financial records after she did not initially disclose three of her companies in a 2019 ethics statement.

James Cabezas, who served as the state’s chief investigator of public corruption for three decades, wrote in an email that he filed a complaint with State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III, asking him to look into the matter further.

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Cabezas asked Howard’s office “to determine if it was in the best interest of justice to initiate an investigation so to resolve whether the omission was simple, innocent error or was it due to a corrupt motive.”

The request is in response to Mosby’s original 2019 Financial Disclosure Statement to the Ethics Commission, in which she did not disclose her ownership of three companies — Mahogany Elite Travel, Mahogany Elite Enterprises LLC and Mahogany Elite Consulting. She’d later amended the statement to include the companies.

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The missing information, along with a detailed look at Mosby’s travel while in office, was first reported by the Baltimore Brew.

Last week, Mosby asked the city Inspector General’s Office to investigate her travel and financial disclosures after her filings with the State Ethics Commission showed she traveled at least 20 times for events over the past two years, including trips abroad.

In a statement, spokesperson Zy Richardson pointed to Mosby’s previous request, saying that the office anticipates a review by the ethics commission and Inspector General’s Office “will find that the State’s Attorney has consistently gone above and beyond statutory requirements related to disclosures.”

“The State’s Attorney filed her disclosures in a timely fashion, and made an amendment to that disclosure less than 20 business days after the State Ethics Commission’s deadline, which was extended because of Covid-19,” Richardson wrote. “Per Maryland law, there are no criminal consequences for filing late or amending a filing a few days after the deadline. Any theories to the contrary are a willful misreading of Maryland law.”

Mosby said that the travel was largely paid for by outside organizations, not taxpayers, and that her travel business is in its early stages with no clients or sales. She said the business is geared toward offering “underserved black families who don’t usually have the opportunity to travel outside of urban cities” vacation packages at affordable rates.

The approximately $30,000 in trips was paid for primarily by nonprofits that back progressive legal reforms, according to documents filed with the state’s ethics commission and records supplied to The Sun by Mosby’s office.

Most of the expenses were listed as “gifted travel,” and about $2,800 was paid by the office for 2018 and 2019, according to the documents. She received a little more than $3,000 in reimbursements for meals and other expenses from the organizations.

Mosby has frequently traveled since taking office, even as the trips drew criticism. In January, in the midst of a public feud with Gov. Larry Hogan over her office’s prosecution record and the city’s rising crime, Mosby flew to St. Louis to show support to that city’s elected prosecutor.

Cabezas, a former Baltimore police officer, became the chief corruption investigator for the State Prosecutor’s Office in 1984 and served in the position before retiring in 2017.

In his email, Cabezas wrote that after he read of Mosby’s for-profit businesses, “I felt duty bound to file a complaint with the Office of the State Prosecutor.”

The Office of the State Prosecutor declined to comment on whether an investigation has been opened.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.

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