The Baltimore City ethics board has released a list of more than 130 donations to a legal defense fund for political power couple Nick and Marilyn Mosby, but did not reveal the names of donors.
A public records request to the panel, which is tasked with interpreting Baltimore’s ethics code for city officials, resulted in a redacted list of contributors that included ZIP codes and banking institutions, but no personal information.
The fund was the subject of an ethics board report released last May that alleged City Council President Nick Mosby made three errors tied to a fund established in 2021 to assist his family with legal expenses — Marilyn Mosby is awaiting trial on federal perjury charges — that raised more than $14,000.
In a statement to The Banner, the board’s public information officer, Maura Romo, said the panel is required by the Maryland Public Information Act to protect information about an individual’s finances, which includes assets, income or financial activities.
“The names of donors are redacted because, in this context, they constitute information about the individual’s financial activity,” she said.
Following an appeal of the report’s findings by the Democrat, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill last month threw out the most serious allegation that Nick Mosby actually received money from prohibited donors, saying the board had no evidence to support the claim.
He upheld two other findings, agreeing with the ethics board’s argument that Mosby erred by not explicitly disavowing himself from the trust, even though he did not create the fund or serve as its officer. The judge also ruled that the council president should have declared the trust on his annual financial disclosure, despite Mosby’s attorney Robert Fulton Dashiell’s argument that other city officials do not list trust funds they benefit from on their annual reports.
The identities of some donors were at the center of the board’s argument that Mosby violated the city ethics code. The May report said that two contributions came from “controlled donors” — that is, people or companies who are seeking to do business with the city — that are barred from giving gifts to elected officials.
The board’s public information release did not shed any new light on the identity of the donor of the largest contribution of $5,000, which the report attributed to a resident agent for a minority- or woman-owned business that was considered for work by the Board of Estimates in 2020.