In fact, under state law, it is — though the longstanding practice in Baltimore City, which predates Mr. Conaway's tenure and which is also legal, is for the task to be delegated to the sheriff's office. In an interview, Mr. Conaway insisted that he does not bear any responsibility for the uncollected fees and should not be faulted for the failure to collect. "I'm not supposed to go out and approach criminals," he said. "That's not my job. I don't carry a gun or anything." Moreover, he seemed to suggest that the $8.2 million, which he says has accumulated over decades, shouldn't be surprising. "Criminals are not going to pay fines unless they rob someone to pay fines," he said. "Criminals are criminals."