Mosby legal defense fund founded by Robyn Murphy, friend of Baltimore power couple – Baltimore Sun
A legal defense fund that Baltimore City Council Speaker Nick Mosby has tried to distance himself from was created by Robyn Murphy, a local consultant who was friends with Mosby and his wife, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. .
Murphy, the owner of a media consulting firm that does communications work for the Mosbys, is listed as a trustee on a document filed with the IRS in July establishing The Mosby 2021 Trust, a tax-exempt political organization who raised money for the Baltimore power couple’s legal bills.
Reached on Friday, Murphy said she is no longer the trustee. “I just helped set it up,” she said.
The council chairman’s affiliation with the fund goes against Baltimore’s code of ethics, according to a ruling released Thursday by the city’s ethics board accusing the council chairman of multiple violations of municipal law related to the fund’s acceptance of donations from two city entrepreneurs.
Baltimore’s code of ethics prohibits city officials from soliciting and accepting money, directly or indirectly, from “controlled donors,” a category that includes city contractors and many others who business with the city.
Nick Mosby told the Ethics Council last year that he was ‘not aware of any solicitation from anyone to contribute to the Mosby Trust’.
Murphy has been a visible friend and supporter of the Mosbys, appearing in pictures with them in social and professional settings. Nick Mosby chatted with Murphy and her husband, former Baltimore Raven Jason Murphy, in a photo from the Baltimore Sun at the 2021 Preakness Stakes, and she appeared in another photo posted by Marilyn Mosby last year with Nick Mosby and a group of their supporters.
Murphy also spoke last April at a press conference condemning an investigation by city inspector general Isabel Mercedes Cumming into Marilyn Mosby’s trip.
Murphy said on Friday that she informed the ethics board that she was no longer the trustee of the defense fund and pointed to a passage in a report the board released on Thursday that notes her statement was received on December 9. A trust attorney also advised the board on that date that Murphy was no longer the trustee.
By this point, the fund had raised $7,760 and transferred $2,587 to a corporate checking account associated with the trust, according to the ethics committee report.
Murphy declined to say who the new administrator is, but said she contacted the person in response to media inquiries. Murphy said the person didn’t want to talk. She also declined to say when she stepped down as a director.
The ethics board accused Nick Mosby of violating provisions of the city’s ethics law that prohibit city officials from soliciting and accepting donations from vetted donors. Elected municipal officials may not solicit such donations directly or indirectly through another person or entity. Likewise, they may not accept donations themselves or have someone else accept them on their behalf from vetted donors.
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In the case of Nick Mosby, who chairs the City Council as well as the City Estimates Board, vetted donors are considered to be anyone who seeks to do business with the City Council, the Council President’s Office, the Council estimates or any city government or quasi-government entity with which the Chairman of the Board is affiliated. Also included are contractors doing business or seeking to do business with the above groups, and those engaging in activities regulated or controlled by these groups.
According to the Ethics Council, the Legal Defense Fund received $5,000, its largest individual contribution, in August from the ‘resident agent’ of a contractor who is a minority-owned or certified woman-owned business. by the city. The company was a contractor under a deal the city’s spending council was considering in 2020, the council reported.
The fund also received a $100 donation from the executive director of a nonprofit that received a multi-thousand-dollar grant from the city in March.
Neither donor was named in the report.
The fund was created for the legal defense of the Mosbys while they were the subject of a federal criminal investigation last year into their financial dealings. Nick Mosby hasn’t been charged with anything. Marilyn Mosby was charged this year with perjury and misrepresentation related to the purchase of two homes in Florida.
Nick Mosby released a statement Thursday night denying violating the city’s code of ethics.
“I am completely perplexed by the council’s findings,” he wrote. “The board is fully aware that I have never asked, requested or solicited anyone to donate to the ‘legal defense fund’. The board is further aware that I never assisted in the establishment of the fund. legal defense or entity that controlled the funds that were donated.