Former prosecutor plans to run for Baltimore state's attorney
Apr 29, 2013 | 4:37 PM
Marilyn J. Mosby, a former Baltimore assistant state's attorney and the wife of City Councilman Nick Mosby, told The Sun that she plans to run for Baltimore state's attorney next year.
Mosby's confirmation of her intention to run in 2014 came as she alleged that the city prosecutors' office is partly to blame for the alleged corruption scandal unfolding at the city jail involving the Black Guerilla Family gang.
Federal prosecutors said last week that an inmate named Tavon White awaiting charges for attempted murder, who has been in the jail since 2009, turned the facility into his own fiefdom, impregnating corrections officers and running a lucrative drug organization.
Mosby, who was a prosecutor for six years, said the two mistrials in White's pending state case point to a lack of trust among jurors, and said a ranking gang member such as White should have had his case taken on by State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein's Major Investigations Unit.
"This is a prime example of what happens when there is a culture of distrust with the community," said Mosby, who was an attorney in the general trial division when she left the state's attorney's office in 2011. "There are a lot of cases where juries hang because prosecutors are unable to convince the jury because of that culture of distrust."
"We should have gotten this guy a long time ago," Mosby said of White, who pleaded not guilty to the federal charges Monday.
Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for Bernstein's office, said state prosecutors assigned to White's case were involved in the federal investigation. "We attempted to prosecute him twice, which is consistent with the state's attorney's focus of aggressively prosecuting violent offenders, even when the cases are challenging," Cheshire said. "Unfortunately, the juries couldn't reach a consensus."
Mosby also charged that Bernstein is not connected enough to the community, saying he slashed community liaison positions in his office and has not done enough to help victims and witnesses.
Cheshire said Bernstein formed a community prosecution structure to better address neighborhood issues. "The belief is that better relationships among prosecutors, the public and police go a long way toward producing better results in court," Cheshire said. "We're seeing that -- it's evident in our increased conviction rate on felony cases."
He noted that Bernstein and his surrogates regularly attend community meetings and events, including the first two "Enough is Enough" peace walks in West Baltimore promoted by Mosby's husband. At the third most recent peace walk, a staffer from his office was present, Cheshire said.
Bernstein defeated 15-year incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy after entering the Democratic primary just two months before the September election.