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Blown deadlines, late fees, fixes in flurry of financial filings from Baltimore council president candidate Mosby

State Del. Nick Mosby, shown in a file photo, is the Democratic candidate for Baltimore City Council president. He faces Republican nominee Jovani Patterson in Tuesday's general election.
State Del. Nick Mosby, shown in a file photo, is the Democratic candidate for Baltimore City Council president. He faces Republican nominee Jovani Patterson in Tuesday's general election. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Sun)

Democratic Del. Nick Mosby has missed three of five campaign finance deadlines for next week’s election, amended reports to disclose spending long after it occurred, and been hit with more than $500 in reporting penalties in his bid for Baltimore City Council president.

In a statement Thursday, Mosby called mistakes in his finance reports “regrettable but completely explainable.”

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Late Wednesday night, Mosby’s campaign amended its financial disclosure reports from May, August and Oct. 23, disclosing for the first time more than $86,000 spent in the runup to the June 2 primary.

The new disclosures resolve a discrepancy of about $100,000 that appeared in his most recent campaign finance report, which was filed Tuesday — four days late. The missed deadline drew an $80 fine from state elections officials.

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Mosby said his campaign treasurer compiled the records late and had problems with an automatic function in the reporting system that populates the fields for expenses. The reports list his treasurer as Carlton Saunders, who did not return a message Thursday seeking comment.

“There’s no other reason than the treasurer filed the reports late,” Mosby said. “I didn’t know that he didn’t file them.”

Mosby said his campaign worked quickly to fix the incorrect reports.

“Am I satisfied that they’ve been filed appropriately and correctly? Yes," he said.

State elections officials fined his campaign $485 for filing a finance report due in August two weeks late, according to the state campaign finance database. Those records show a history of late fees and missed deadlines stretching to 2018 and previous campaigns for elected office.

In his bid for council president, Mosby’s campaign has amended finance reports repeatedly after the filing deadline, disclosing new transactions, including tens of thousands of dollars spent on advertisements.

Mosby has been pursued by questions this month about a $45,000 federal tax lien filed against him this year.

Court records show he’s struggled with his personal finances. In June 2019, Capital One sued Mosby over a $3,600 credit card debt. He was hit with a $5,000 state tax lien in 2013. The lawsuit was dismissed; the lien was paid.

The federal lien, which was filed in February, was revealed earlier this month. He issued a brief statement, saying the debt stems from an early withdrawal from his retirement savings for a series of family tragedies. He said he expected to have the debt resolved in the coming days.

Mosby has declined subsequently to discuss the matter further and declined Thursday to say anything more about the circumstances.

In a statement later Thursday night, he said he takes full responsibility for his financial history.

As for the corrections to his campaign finance reports, such amendments are routine for small amounts here and there, said Rachael Rice, a political consultant who has worked for the campaigns of Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, City Councilman Eric Costello and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger. All are Democrats.

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But a pattern of missed deadlines, late fees and amendments demonstrates sloppiness in a campaign, she said.

“If you’re going to run for office, there’s things you need to do. You need to file your financial disclosures. You need to file your campaign finance reports on time. And if you’re not, it’s like, ‘Why?’ " she said. “I don’t get it. If you can’t do the job, find someone who can.”

A big election campaign can be plenty confusing, said Sophia Silbergeld, a political strategist who has worked for Mosby’s campaigns in the past, as well as the campaign of his wife, Marilyn, for Baltimore state’s attorney.

“When a campaign is in cycle, there’s a lot of money moving in and out of the account,” she said. “You’re taking in a lot of contributions and you’re spending almost immediately. It’s really important to have a treasurer who has some kind of background in compliance and accounting.”

In an amended report filed by his campaign committee, Mosby discloses a balance of nearly $44,000 in the bank.

He’s running for City Council president against the Republican nominee, Jovani Patterson.

The Maryland State Board of Elections conducts a review of all campaigns after the election.

“Committees with discrepancies will be audited,” said Jared DeMarinis, the director of the state elections board’s candidacy and campaign finance division. “The state board will look at all these reports and go after the committees to correct the discrepancies.”

Mosby said in his statement that he looked forward “to continuing in office and earning the public’s trust as I have for the past decade.”

“As an elected official, you realize that you will justifiably have every aspect of your life scrutinized by the public and the press. I’ve been in elected office on the local and state level for over a decade without any hint of scandal or misconduct,” he said.

Baltimore Sun reporters Emily Opilo and McKenna Oxenden contributed to this article.

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