Baltimore City Council President told to return funds violating ethics law

AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

Another week and another new ethics problem for Baltimore Maryland power couple City Council President Nick Mosby and State’s Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby. This week, the focus is on Nick Mosby (which probably comes as a great relief to his wife). We recently discussed allegations that had been brought against each of them for the establishment of dubious legal defense funds and raising money to pay their attorneys to defend them against the “smear campaign” that Marilyn Mosby continues to insist is ongoing. On Thursday, the City Board of Ethics concluded that Nick Mosby had violated the city’s ethics laws in accepting donations to the fund. In response, roughly half of the City Council sent a letter on Friday asking that Nick Mosby return all of the money. Mosby’s defense thus far seems to be that he has no idea what they’re talking about and he’s not in charge of any such funds. (CBS Baltimore and the Baltimore Banner)

A group of Baltimore city council members is asking Council President Nick Mosby to return the money collected by a fund that was created to cover his legal expenses, according to the Baltimore Banner.

The Baltimore City Board of Ethics said on Thursday that Mosby violated the city’s ethics law when he accepted the donations. His wife, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, benefited from the donations too.

All four members of the board found the donations violated a section of the ethics law prohibiting “a public servant from soliciting—or facilitating the solicitation of—a gift from a controlled donor,” according to a newly published report.

The Mosbys are going to have a hard time writing this off as “Republican dirty tricks” as Marilyn Mosby has attempted to do in the past. All seven members of the Council who signed the letter are Democrats. (That’s not surprising because this is Baltimore, after all.) The remaining members of the Council who did not sign the letter and made no comment are described as, “allies of Mosby appointed by him to lead legislative committees or introduce bills on his behalf.”

The group operating the defense fund is named “The Mosby Trust.” For his part, Mosby claimed that he has never “asked, requested, or solicited any person to donate” to the fund. Mosby previously admitted that the fund is run by “people known to the council president.” When asked to provide their names, he declined.

So we’re expected to believe that the fund is literally named after he and his wife and is run by people he knows. But he has no idea what they’ve been up to and would never consider accepting any of the money they’ve raised. Is that about right?

Nick Mosby seems to be running out of allies quickly. Mayor Brandon Scott, another Democrat who held Mosby’s office before taking over City Hall, released his own statement on Friday. He described how this was “another sad day for Baltimore and another unwanted distraction as we work to move our city forward.” He offered no words of defense or explanation in support of the Mosbys.

I suppose there’s only just so far you can push your personal agenda and just so much heat you can bring down from both the media and government investigators before the rats begin fleeing the sinking ship, eh? Just as a reminder, his wife is scheduled to stand trial in September on charges of fraud and misuse of COVID relief funds. I’m not expecting a lot of the Democrats who signed that letter to show up and testify on her behalf either.

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024