Connection to Dark Money Looks to Shape Prosecution of Police

Originally published in FOX45 News

MPPI in the News Joy Lepola | FOX45 News Sep 25, 2020

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -Dark money is shaping the way Baltimore City addresses crime.

The authors of an op-ed that appeared in The Baltimore Sun this week describe themselves as being former federal prosecutors.

What Miriam Krinsky and Roy Austin Jr. fail to disclose in their commentary is the close-knit relationship they have to Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

It’s a relationship a Fox45 investigation uncovered as Operation: Crime & Justice Reporter Joy Lepola began to examine Marilyn Mosby’s ethics forms.

Since Mosby has taken office, she and her family have received nearly $60,000 dollars in free travel.

According to public records, no organization has provided more free travel than Fair and Just Prosecution.

Senate hearings on police reform prompted Krinsky and Austin to speak-out.

They're concerned over a piece of draft legislation that if passed in its current form would strip some of Mosby's prosecutorial power in cases that involve members of law enforcement.

Sean Kennedy, is a visiting fellow with the Maryland Public Policy Institute.

Kennedy calls the op-ed piece||

 A press release masquerading as an op-ed or some authoritative piece. The fact that The Sun published it is a little concerning because these people have conflicts of interest and financial connections that are not disclosed at all in this piece.

Kennedy says||

Ms. Krinsky has financed all of them to go on world trips.


Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga has voiced concerned with Fair and Just Prosecution's role in shaping public policy as well.

Szeliga says||

Citizens need to know that there are outside groups funding a movement with State's Attorneys across the country.

According to Fair and Just Prosecution’s website, "It brings together newly elected local prosecutors as part of a network of leaders, committed to promoting a justice system grounded in fairness”

Szeliga says||

We know Marilyn Mosby has taken more than twenty trips abroad funded by this organization. She says in a report she’s bringing those ideas back and putting them into play in Baltimore . We can see they’re not working. Crime is not going down in Baltimore.

Mosby stopped prosecuting possession of marijuana cases.

It’s that progressive approach to crime that led us to dig even deeper into this organization, its key players, and the those funding the group.

At the bottom of Fair and Just Prosecution's website it states||

Fair and Just Prosecution is a fiscally-sponsored project of The Tides Center a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization...

The Tides Center is part of a larger foundation that donors can funnel money through to set up special interest networks like the one Mosby frequently travels with.

Money that’s designed to be untraceable to it donor.

Szeliga says||

We talk about dark money and people don’t really know what that means. It’s outside groups who are funding projects, ideas, political candidates, political campaigns that’s not reported.

How it happens...

  • Dollars from the Tides Center creates so-call "projects."
  • Fair and Just Prosecution, which has paid for 30% of the travel Marilyn Mosby has disclosed in ethics forms, is an example of a Tides "project."
  • By design, the specific donor or donors behind a "project" is nearly impossible to pinpoint.

The op-ed FJP members wrote in The Baltimore Sun was in opposition of proposed legislation that would take power away from State's Attorneys.

In an effort to fully understand their point of view and interest in the issue, Kennedy says, as a matter of transparency, FJP should have disclosed its relationship with Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

FJP and the donors whose money went to create it (FJP) stand to lose out if lawmakers in Maryland pass legislation that weakens the role State's Attorneys play in the prosecution of police in their respective jurisdictions. That information was not disclosed by FJP in the op-ed that appeared in The Baltimore Sun.

How criminal cases are prosecuted can directly impact public safety.

We’ve reached out to Marilyn Mosby’s office more than a dozen times and requested an interview. The BCSAO has yet to schedule one.