Baltimore ex-prosecutor’s perjury trial delayed again

BALTIMORE (AP) — After multiple postponements, including most recently because her entire defense team quit, Baltimore’s former top prosecutor is scheduled to stand trial on federal perjury and mortgage fraud counts in November.

Marilyn Mosby’s trial is now slated for Nov. 2 in Baltimore, with jury selection starting Oct. 31, according to an order issued Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby. Her order marks the trial’s third postponement, making an already prolonged legal battle even longer.

Mosby left office in January after serving two high-profile terms as Baltimore state’s attorney. She was defeated in a Democratic primary last year after federal prosecutors accused her of lying about experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to make early withdrawals from her retirement account. She used the money to buy two Florida vacation properties, prosecutors say.

Mosby’s previous defense team argued the pandemic had an impact on both financial markets and her personal travel and consulting businesses. They’ve also repeatedly accused prosecutors of having racial or political motives for pursuing the case, though Griggsby previously rejected their assertion of vindictive prosecution.

The team of six private defense lawyers asked to withdraw from the case last month after Griggsby announced the possibility of criminal contempt charges against lead attorney A. Scott Bolden. The judge accused Bolden of violating several court rules, including using profanity in inflammatory statements to the media on the courthouse steps following an earlier hearing.

Griggsby allowed the team to withdraw, declared Mosby indigent and appointed a public defender to represent her moving forward. The trial date was pushed back again to let her new attorney get up to speed. It had been scheduled to start next month after being pushed back from its original date in May 2022 to September 2022.

A different federal judge said last week that Bolden’s rule violations, “in addition to his theatrics and profanity,” went against the court’s “traditions of civility and collegiality.” But his inappropriate conduct didn’t warrant criminal contempt sanctions, according to a Feb. 21 order issued by U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett. That case was dismissed.