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Marilyn Mosby: Wronged or wrongdoer? | READER COMMENTARY

It’s not ‘stupidity and sleaze,’ it’s ‘hubris and greed’

Dan Rodricks bemoans the recurrent corruption scandals of Baltimore and the indictments of important figures caught up in these scandals year after year (“Another year, another indictment. This time Marilyn Mosby, for cryin’ out loud,” Jan. 14). He wonders about the stupidity and the sleaze of the perpetrators. I think that stupidity and sleaze have little to do with these indictments. In my opinion the major reasons are hubris and greed.

Quite a few lawmakers and members of law enforcement who make laws and enforce laws, seem to think they’re above the laws they make and enforce. All over the world there are corrupt lawmakers and law enforcement officers. It’s almost as if they’re tempted to test the waters of the laws they make and the laws they must enforce, to see if they will get caught or if they can get away with breaking the law.

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As soon as they get caught these law breakers are ready with defense lawyers, denials and excuses for why they did what they did. They calculate that it is worthwhile to take the risks, that they will come out ahead anyway and their supporters can be bamboozled into reelecting them, so much so their corruption won’t have any serious consequences. They don’t worry about jail time, they expect mere slaps on the wrist, and they figure they can always claim discrimination to convince and keep their supporters and followers.

This mindset is at the root of corruption in the upper and lower echelons of power. In my opinion, all lawmakers and law enforcement officers should take mandatory ethics courses and earn continuing ethics education credits to operate in their positions of power and privilege, and those who refuse should be given hefty fines and forced to comply by an independent ethics board.

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Usha Nellore, Bel Air,

What’s the real reason for this Mosby open season?

I’ve been listening and following and reading with great interest the discussion about Marilyn Mosby and the charges placed upon her by the federal government (“Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby indicted on federal charges she lied on financial transactions to buy homes in Florida,” Jan. 13). I tried to imagine this young, Black, natural-hair wearing, African American woman with two little beautiful girls and a powerful husband. And I say to myself: Self, what is the real reason for this Mosby season?

I’m just a city boy who looked at things as a plain, college-educated, 60-plus, African American Man. I’ve asked scholars, activist and media people: What, really, did she do, to garnish all this trouble? I’m sorry if I am insulting anyone when I ask, “Where’s the beef?” Has Marilyn Mosby done anything to anyone, taken any money from anyone? Promised something to anyone and did not keep her promise? You know, like America has promised the African American public.

The haters are going to hate. And not surprising, my hometown Baltimore radio is full of Marilyn Mosby haters. Many hosts and callers, who are great accountants as they begin to count her money by the hours she is at work to put a price on her daily worth.

And then there are the supporters who love this woman for her recognizing that criminal charges were on steroids when it came to targeting Black, poor and, most times, uneducated people. Who else but Marilyn Mosby had the guts to charge police officers — any police officers — when it came to the death of Freddie Gray? Prosecutors partner with police; they don’t charge them, is what a police officer friend told me. For me she prioritized Freddie Gray’s humanity and the pursuit of justice.

Most of us who have been in Baltimore for any amount of time are tired of whose “up next.” They mostly were imperfect folks who all made laughable decisions during the time they were serving the people. I don’t know what is going to happen. I hope absolutely nothing. I hope she can return to her office and her job and keep an eye on a system that has never been fair for me. Yeah, it’s not been justice for my community, it’s been just-us.

Michael Eugene Johnson, Baltimore

Taking a page from Donald Trump

Taking a page from the Trump strategy, Marilyn Mosby is screaming “fake news,” it didn’t happen, I am innocent, and I am a victim in this situation (“‘Fight of our lives’: Marilyn Mosby speaks at Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple on Sunday morning, days after federal indictment,” Jan. 16). Well, as President Donald Trump discovered, if you yell loud enough and long enough, some people, especially dedicated followers, will believe you and support you all the way to the verdict and even beyond as shown by the attempted Jan. 6 event in Washington. They ignore the facts in face of the charges and facts as they stand. They make excuses for the crimes committed. So holler and protest all you want, but the real truth will come out in court when only true facts will be allowed and all the hoopla and emotional hollering will be ignored for the truth and justice.

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If she is innocent then the court trial will find her innocent, but if guilty as charged then that must be accepted.

Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

Mosby targeted for ‘smear campaign’

Once again a columnist for The Baltimore Sun is engaged in playing judge and jury in the situation involving Marilyn Mosby, state’s attorney for Baltimore. Apparently, to many in the media, the rule of law and presumption of innocence does not apply to public officials or those in our Justice system.

Disturbing as well, is the historical legacy of prominent, outspoken Black Americans becoming targets and subjected to smear campaigns by both our federal law enforcement agencies and the media.

I am reminded of this sordid legacy as the nation celebrated the Martin Luther King holiday. Tragically, one of the icons of America was also subject to overzealous law enforcement agencies and smear campaigns by the media in America.

One hopes Ms. Mosby will not resign and will defeat these twisted efforts to unseat her.

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Greg Thrasher, Washington, D.C.

Where’s the hardship in a $250,000 salary?

It is all about values for me! It’s not about “political and racial animus.” Marilyn Mosby’s indictment on criminal charges may result in jail time or loss of office or public censure or nothing. The result, however, for me is disappointment, loss of respect and a decision that I can no longer support her in any attempt to stay in office (“‘I’m built for this’: Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby pledges to fight federal perjury charges,” Jan. 14).

I have respected and supported her initiatives to make the justice system more fair. However, I cannot understand how someone whose role is to enforce the rule of law can think it OK to circumvent it. She admits that she withdrew retirement money without penalty using the COVID exception to do so. I find it unconscionable that anyone (especially someone in her position) whose salary is almost $250,000 checks a box that affirms financial hardship.

My understanding is that the purpose of this exemption was to help people who need money to feed themselves and their families, pay their rent or mortgage, or keep a small business going to support themselves or their employees. It wasn’t to help the rich get richer.

The truth about the other charges against her will come out as the process continues. Meanwhile, I would hope that Marilyn Mosby would take responsibility for her own behavior.

Sally Neustadt, Baltimore

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Rules for future Maryland politicians

After reading Dan Rodrick’s column (“Financial hardship is Marilyn Mosby’s defense? Good luck with that,” Jan. 19) it raised the question: Why do so many elected officials in Maryland end up with criminal charges against them? Could it be because of a political witch hunt, a racially biased attack, an overzealous inspector with a bone to pick? Or could it be that maybe, just maybe, those officials were just victims of temptation? Does that mean that we should prosecute them for getting their hands caught in the cookie jar, or is it time to get a sufficiently tighter fitting lid for that cookie jar?

Going back to the days of Spiro T. Agnew, Dale Anderson and Marvin Mandel, we have put up with generations of real estate fraud, tax evasion and cronyism, but in more recent years, we see that our new lawmakers are still struggling to comprehend what the term “illegal” means. It’s apparently an official occupational hazard these days, but it’s time that the officials finally do something about it.

Here are a few suggestions for future state and city office seekers:

Taxes: Any elected official must be paid up on all taxes, making their most recent tax return public, to avoid any potential conflicts of interest (After all, if you don’t pay taxes, why should we pay your salary?).

Side Businesses: Any elected official who feels that it’s a good idea to have a side business, (real estate interests, travel agencies, book publishing, cozying up to contractors, etc.) should wait until their term has ended to do so. (After all, you were elected to do one job. Do the damn job.)

Nepotism: Any elected official must not have any immediate family members running for elected office while they are serving their term within that same jurisdiction. (After all, would you honestly turn your little sister in for just nabbing a few cookies?).

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With these measures in place, candidates will have to think twice about running for public office, and we will pray that the ones who are elected will do the right thing!

John Ellsberry, Baltimore

Do the right thing and step aside

Comptroller Bill Henry asserts that there is “no reason” for State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby “to step aside.” I beg to disagree. The fact is there is no justification for Ms. Mosby to continue to hold on to the awesome power of her office while the criminal proceedings against her play out. Every single prosecution in Baltimore City is brought in her name. The charges the U.S. Department of Justice brought against her, if proven, relate directly to a lack of honesty and integrity in several personal financial transactions. While Ms. Mosby has every right to defend herself, she does not have the right to taint the entire criminal justice process with the scent of her own alleged perjury. Please Ms. Mosby, at least this time do the right thing and free the citizens of Baltimore from the burden of your personal baggage.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Baltimore


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