BALTIMORE — Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday threatened to withhold funding from the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office, amid another year of 300 plus murders in the city.
Before putting any freeze on funding, Hogan first ordered his Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services to conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation of money that goes to Marilyn Mosby's Office.
Investigators will be tasked with reviewing cases her office has chosen not to prosecute, and the reasons for non-prosecution.
The investigation will also look into the number of cases where charges were reduced, including plea agreements that were reached outside of minimum sentencing guidelines, and the number of repeat-offenders offered plea deals.
Mosby quickly responded to Hogan in an afternoon press conference, calling his actions a disgrace.
Hogan said he would continue exploring ways to hold judges accountable as well, by once again introducing The Judicial Transparency Act which requires the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing to track and publish information on the sentences that are handed down for violent crimes.
The Governor also continues to propose The Violent Firearms Offender Act, which aims to significantly toughen penalties for offenders who use and illegally possess firearms, and those illegally supplying firearms to criminals.
Hogan's latest remarks come more than a month after he launched a controversial $150 million "Refund the Police" initiative.
It's also not the first time Mosby and the Governor have sparred, as Hogan has long been a staunch critic of her policies.
During her time in office, Mosby has eliminated 1,500 active arrest warrants and stopped prosecuting certain crimes such as drug possession and sex work.
The City has recorded more than 300 homicides in each year Mosby has been State's Attorney. So far in 2021 there have been 306 murders.
Mosby released a statement regarding Hogan's press conference.
"My prosecutors take violent crime seriously and so do I. I met with the devastated daughter whose mother was killed in a church last week, and today I’m going to meet with the parents of the 13-year-old girl, who was a part of my “great expectations” program, that was murdered. For the Governor to put on a show today and exploit the very real pain of our city residents, as part of his political stunt, is disgraceful and unacceptable.
I want to be clear that as the state’s attorney for Baltimore city, my office prosecutes violent crime and violent criminals. I stand committed to continuing to work with the Mayor and the Baltimore Police Department to ensure accountability against individuals that wreak havoc in our communities. Had the Governor set aside his philosophical differences and chosen to meet or even to speak with me, I would have been happy to show him the data that we publish every month on our website which he’s now making contingent on my office’s funding. Just as he’s done in the past, his press conference today was a political stunt with no basis whatsoever to call me or my office out.
Anyone who thinks that the Governor truly cares about crime in the city of Baltimore should also question how or why he’s been unwilling to develop long-term solutions to address the root causes of crime. His only solution to crime is more police and mandatory minimum sentences. He’s always singled out our city as a punching bag - from canceling the Red Line to vetoing the Kirwan Commission.
Governor Hogan continues to play to his national right-wing conservative audience as he plots to out Donald Trump in a future presidential primary. The Governor is so wildly out of touch with what is going on in the city. The irony of “refunding police” while defunding prosecutors is not lost on locals. He needs to stop his meaningless political grandstanding because our city and our citizens deserve better."