After Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan criticized her prosecutors for dropping too many cases, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said the governor has repeatedly failed to meet with her to discuss “real solutions” to the city’s crime problem.
“As you know, I have attempted to meet with you on several occasions throughout this past year to discuss how we can work together to address the level of violent crime in Baltimore city,” Mosby wrote in a letter Thursday to Hogan.
“So, you can imagine that I was completely stunned to learn from the media that you have instructed Attorney General Brian Frosh to take over the prosecution of suspects involved in certain violent crimes in our city," she continued. "While I do not agree with the action you have taken, I’m encouraged that you are showing a sense of urgency in addressing the violent crime that has taken too many lives and destroyed too many families in our community.”
Hogan said Wednesday that he was directing Frosh to step in and prosecute more crimes in the city. The governor blamed city prosecutors who drop cases and reach “excessively lenient plea deals" for Baltimore’s crime problem.
“Far too often in Baltimore city, violent offenders get a slap on the wrist and are released back out on the streets to commit another violent offense,” wrote Hogan, a Republican, to Frosh, a Democrat.
In response, Frosh said he could do much more if Hogan would fund more prosecutor positions in his office. The governor’s directive did not come with more state resources to prosecute more cases.
“We are willing to work with the governor and the state’s attorney to do more, but we’re going to need a lot more resources," Frosh said.
Mosby, too, said Hogan could better help fight crime by providing more resources, not by blaming others.
“Frankly, we have not received enough support, financial or otherwise, from the Governor’s Mansion,” Mosby, a Democrat, wrote. “This is not about finger pointing, because I am thrilled to have your attention and your commitment so that we all can now roll up our sleeves and work together.”
Mosby asked for increased state police collaboration to solve homicide cases in Baltimore and remove guns from the streets; deeper state investigations into criminal enterprises run out of the state’s prisons; increased funding for community-led violence interruption programs; and an overhaul of the state’s Department of Juvenile Services, which she said is failing to reform juvenile offenders.
A spokesman for Hogan responded by saying “the status quo is completely unacceptable.”
Mike Ricci, Hogan’s spokesman, said the governor looks forward to "working with both her and the attorney general to get violent offenders off the streets and behind bars.”
Baltimore has suffered from more than 300 homicides for four years in a row.