Judge Allows Secrecy of Mosby Legal Defense Fund Donors, Sparking Transparency Concerns

A Baltimore City Circuit Judge has ruled that the names of donors to the Mosby Legal Defense Fund can remain confidential. The fund came to light three years ago amid growing legal questions surrounding former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and City Council President Nick Mosby.

Initially, the city’s ethics board ordered Nick Mosby to shut down the fund and disclose its donors. However, when media outlets requested to review the fund’s details, the ethics board redacted the names of all donors. The city’s MPIA compliance board later ordered the release of the donor names.

This week, after an appeal by the city, Circuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill overturned that decision. In a 13-page opinion, Judge Fletcher-Hill stated that “the city ethics board was justified in denying public access to all of the redacted information.” He ruled that disclosing the documents would reveal protected financial information about the donors.

David Williams, President of Taxpayers Protection Alliance, criticized the ruling as detrimental to transparency and accountability. “Today was a bad day for transparency and accountability,” Williams stated. He argues that taxpayers have a right to know who may be attempting to influence public officials through donations.

Williams expressed concern about the precedent, saying, “This may just be the beginning of more public officials setting up websites and collecting money. This establishes a very bad precedent for future years because now they have a ruling to point to to keep things secret.”