The trial of former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has been delayed again after a federal judge allowed her defense team to withdraw from the case.
U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby also found that Mosby, who served two terms as the city’s top prosecutor and is married to the City Council president, is indigent and will allow the federal public defender’s office to represent her.
Mosby’s lead attorney, A. Scott Bolden, is facing the possibility of criminal contempt charges for his conduct in her case, and said that he could no longer put his full effort into her trial defense. Three other attorneys from his firm said that posed a conflict of interest for them, while two other attorneys said they were not able to take up a larger role in the case.
Federal prosecutors argued there was no conflict and that the attorneys should continue to represent her, noting also the likelihood of another delay in the trial, which has already been postponed twice.
The defense team had said Mosby consented to their withdrawal, and Griggsby asked Mosby during Friday’s hearing to confirm.
“Unfortunately, yes,” Mosby said. “I feel like their interests are clearly now adverse to my interests, and I need conflict-free counsel.”
Acknowledging another delay in the case, she added: “I want to rebuild my life, but I do understand and recognize any new counsel would have to get up to speed on this case.”
Mosby was indicted in January 2022 on federal charges of perjury related to withdrawing money early from her retirement account — citing a COVID-related hardship — and making false claims on a loan application.
Prosecutors said her defense team was already “astonishingly large,” and that the case was, from their perspective, simple and should go forward.
Mosby will now be represented by the federal public defender, which represents clients who are unable to pay for private attorneys. Griggsby said she had reviewed Mosby’s finances and agreed she was indigent.
Mosby made $250,000 annually during her eight years in office. The criminal case itself focuses on whether Mosby lied about having suffered a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to access retirement funds, and then purchased two homes in Florida. She has since sold one of the homes, but retains the other.