Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, is feuding with City Council members over a request to increase her budget by $1.9 million, reports the Baltimore Sun. The dispute occurred as Mayor Martin O’Malley, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, has faced questions about the Police Department’s crime data. Critics say those statistics suggest greater crime reduction than Baltimore has experienced.
At a hearing yesterday, Council members James Kraft and Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake questioned why Jessamy had not followed through with a management audit they said she had agreed to last year. The council members said her $1.9 million budget supplement was contingent on the review. Jessamy said she had agreed to no such thing. Later, she said she would not agree to a management audit until the Police Department had been audited. Kraft said it was “most, most shocking” that Jessamy’s crime-fighting plan was developed in 1997. As Jessamy tried to respond, he and Rawlings Blake indicated that they would be ending the hearing. Kraft attacked the state’s attorney’s office’s felony conviction rate – which he said has dropped to 67 percent – and questioned Jessamy’s competence.