Purge of state's attorney's office brings backlash; Councilman Nick Mosby denies claim that he is helping his wife Marilyn run the office

Prosecutor Purge Brings Backlash

A former analyst for the Baltimore state's attorney's office says Marilyn Mosby, who took the top job just a few days ago, had begun a brutal purge of people who politically supported her opponent, former State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein.

In an email that she says Mosby's office pulled from the state's attorney's office email system a few hours after it was sent, Cristie Cole writes at length about several prosecutors who were removed from trials just as they were about to begin—or in one case, in the middle.

The Sun's Justin Fenton had a story on the abrupt changes last night. Cole's email, which she converted to a blog post you can read here, goes further, suggesting that City Councilman Nick Mosby is helping his wife run her office.

"A prosecutor everyone loves accepted a position with a respected nonprofit and gave the office the expected courtesy of two weeks' notice. That same day, she was sent to trial in an attempted murder case against a violent repeat offender. In the middle of trial, the prosecutor was told by her supervisor that all her remaining cases for the next two weeks would be reassigned. This included a priority case against another violent repeat offender that was set for later in the week, which the prosecutor was ready for and intended to try herself. Her supervisor went to the front office to ask the State's Attorney to reconsider. The supervisor sat down and explained to Ms. Mosby and Mr. Mosby, the councilman, why the prosecutor should be permitted to smoothly transition her cases to others and not be forced out. But at the end of the discussion, Mr. and Ms. Mosby both told the supervisor their decision was final."

"That is categorically incorrect," says Councilman Mosby (7th District). "I was never there during any firing of any of the employees. Nor was Marilyn, as far as I know. It's just rumors that are flying around."

"If I were you I wouldn't write about hearsay or assumptions," he adds.

In a phone call, Cole says she was fired because she supported Bernstein, and she made that plain in a long conversation with Nick Mosby when both were poll-standing on primary election day. "I felt like I could have a good dialogue with him," says Cole (a former CitiStat analyst who incidentally is not related to Baltimore Development Corporation Executive Director William Cole). "So after we lost, there was a part of me that regretted having said too much to Nick . . . So I introduced myself to [Marilyn Mosby] a couple months ago at a community meeting. I handed her my card and she said 'Oh, I know who you are. You were with Nick at the poll a couple months ago.'"

After being summarily fired without cause—which is absolutely the right of the incoming state's attorney, by the way—Cole says she heard that others had been fired with similar abruptness. She wrote an email to former colleagues decrying State's Attorney Mosby's style: "She is instilling a deep fear that she will fire anyone including people she's never met, without notice and without reason. And it's working. I know many of you are scared to speak out and feel like your hands are tied. Mine are not. So let me say what so many of you are feeling: in just over a week, she has already proven she is too early in her career to know how to lead, which must be through inspiration, not intimidation."

The email got through, Cole says, and a couple of colleagues responded with encouragement. But it was quickly purged from the email system, Cole says a colleague told her. So she posted it on the internet.

Cole is not naming any other names of those involved, other than the Mosbys. City Paper reached out to the state's attorney's office and will update this blog when or if they respond.

Click here for more from Edward Ericson Jr. or email Edward at eericson@citypaper.com

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