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Incumbent Mosby remains confident

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby defended her administration’s crime-fighting efforts during an appearance Tuesday on Midday with Tom Hall and said she is confident she will beat the federal perjury and false statement charges against her.

“I will be victorious in that instance,” she insisted.

Mosby is charged with falsely claiming the COVID-19 pandemic caused a financial hardship that required her to withdraw $80,000 from her Baltimore City Employee retirement account and use the money as a down payment on two homes in Florida.

“There is no criminal intent formed in anything that I did in accessing my own money,” she told Hall.

With a higher crime rate than when she took office, Mosby said her office’s successful conviction rate amid challenges made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic is a measure of her success.

She said the pandemic created a worsened case backlog in the courts and led to staffing and budgetary challenges in her office, but none of that affected the performance of her staff.

“What we know at the end of the day is that my prosecutors are still the best and the brightest in the country; we've had a 90% felony conviction rate despite all of the unprecedented challenges that exist,” Mosby said.

She also reasoned significant instability within Baltimore’s government made her tenure more difficult.

“When you work with four mayors and five police commissioners, that's five different command staff. That's five different crime plans, that's four different administrations that have different sorts of priorities,” she said.

Reducing crime is a complex problem that will require an equally complex solution, Mosby said, but first and foremost it will require addressing the root causes such as poverty and homelessness.

“28% of Baltimore's population lives in poverty,” she said. “35% of children live below poverty, there are over 18,000 vacant houses; 16,000 vacant lots,...and so if we're not getting to those root causes, as to why crimes take place, then we're going to continue to see the cycle of violence.”

Mosby’s trial in federal court is scheduled for Sept. 19, two months after the primary election. The Maryland General election is on Nov. 8.

Callan Tansill-Suddath is a State House Reporter for WYPR, where she covers the General Assembly.