There’s a new a top prosecutor office in Baltimore City, as Marilyn Mosby replaced Gregg Bernstein as State’s Attorney last week. The change in administration left some longtime employees without a job, and Mosby announced the new staff today.
“With any new administration there’s change— and change can be hard, so it was important for us to make this transition as smooth and efficient as possible,” Mosby said in unveiling the team today.
However, one of the employees who was let go didn’t use the same adjectives to describe the changes.
A letter posted on a blog by fired Operations Research Analyst Cristie Cole details “vindictive” behavior by Mosby as she turned over top jobs in the department.
Cole questions her own firing, wondering whether it was “because part of my job was to help our office hold ourselves accountable,” or “because I supported Gregg Bernstein on election day at the same polling station that Councilman Nick Mosby (and Marilyn’s husband) had worked.”
Cole states one 20-year prosecutor was fired Friday in the middle of an armed robbery trial, forcing a supervisor who knew nothing about the case to step in. A Baltimore Sun report identified the prosecutor as Nancy Olin.
After another prosecutor gave two weeks’ notice at the beginning of last week, the letter states she was fired after the conclusion of an attempted murder case two days later, and had all of her cases reassigned. Other staffers said Mosby’s security detail was ready to escort the prosecutor out of the building if she returned to the office following the trial’s conclusion.
According to Cole, the firing had been foretold.
“Many in the office fear that her treatment of this prosecutor was Ms. Mosby making good on what they had seen at a minority bar association event during the primary campaign,” she writes. “At that event, this prosecutor was sitting with Gregg Bernstein when several other prosecutors (including friends and supporters of Ms. Mosby) saw Ms. Mosby make a throat-slitting-motion with her hand, indicating that this prosecutor was out.
“I know many of you are scared to speak out and feel like your hands are tied. Mine are not,” Cole writes. “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.”
As Cole hinted, many of the prosecutors who were fired worked under Gregg Bernstein, who Mosby beat in the June primary to take the office. So the political underpinnings can’t be ignored. To be fair, however, one of the new hires, Jan Bledsoe, worked under Bernstein. Antonio Gioia, who worked under Bernstein as an Assistant State’s Attorney was also promoted from within. Former Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Anne Leitiss and former Maryland Assistant Attorney General Gerald Collins are also among the hires.
Mosby also announced a new organizational structure on Wednesday that includes the creation of a Criminal Strategies Unit and a Misdemeanor Unit. Yet, some of the positions were “intentionally left vacant,” according to a release from Mosby’s office.
“[Mosby] wanted to provide opportunities for promotion within the office, and encouraged all staff that was interested to apply,” the release states.
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