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City Council President Nick Mosby files legal challenge to Board of Ethics rule violation finding

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Screenshot via CharmTV
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Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby has filed a legal challenge to the finding by the city Board of Ethics that he broke city law after saying he would abide by its ruling.

Mosby independently filed a motion in the Baltimore City Circuit Court Friday asking for a judge to review the board’s findings.

The Board of Ethics ruled last month that Mosby violated rules by indirectly soliciting donations to a legal defense fund that took money from two city contractors.

The fund was created to offset legal costs incurred by him and his wife, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who is facing a federal indictment for perjury and making false statements on financial records in connection with the purchase of two Florida properties.

In its ruling, the Board said when it found evidence of ethics violations, it offered Mosby the opportunity to settle the issue himself, but his lawyer declined to do so.

The city’s ethics law states individuals Office holders are prohibited from receiving a direct or indirect gift from someone who does business with the city; at least two of the individuals who donated to the fund have connections to city businesses.

One donation of $100 came from the executive director of a non-profit organization who later received a “several-hundred-thousand-dollar” American Rescue Plan Act grant from Baltimore City.

A donation of $5000 was made by an individual who was previously listed as a woman or minority-owned business in a contract bid that was before the City’s Board of Estimates, on which Mosby sits.

Mosby filed his appeal within 30 days of the Board's finding, but according to officials, was not otherwise in contact.

“To the best of our knowledge, to the best of my knowledge, he has not been in contact,” Ethics Board Chair Stephan Fogleman said, adding that the Board stands by its ruling.

Fogleman also takes issue with Mosby’s repeated assertions that the Board’s finding is politically-motivated. He notes the Board of Ethics is one of very few institutions within the city with officials in both parties serving.

“We're not political; this is not political,” Fogleman said.

The Board is able to fine violators $1,000 per day if they fail to comply with an order. Fogleman did not indicate whether they plan to stay the order as Mosby’s appeal is considered.