Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby addressed the staffing issues in her office this week, writing in a letter to Councilman Eric Costello that "pandemic malaise, work-life balance and fair pay issues" have contributed to the exodus of assistant state's attorneys and supervisors.
Mosby explained that 103 assistant state’s attorney positions are currently filled, while 42 are vacant, meaning that the unit is understaffed by about 29%. For chief state's attorneys, 41 positions are filled and six are vacant.
Costello requested the information from Mosby in a May 19 letter, writing that Baltimore's residents need "relief from the historic levels of violence gripping our communities."
"By any measure, crime has reached unacceptable levels, that is terrorizing our citizens, and dampening the morale of an already beleaguered city," Costello wrote.
Mosby said that understaffing in her office is part of the "Great Resignation" trend, driven mainly by low pay and a chronically high case load.
Mosby, who pleaded not guilty earlier this year to two counts of perjury and making false statements on a loan application, is up for reelection later this month.
One of her most prominent challengers, Democrat Thiru Vignarajah, did not mince words in his latest pitch to voters, pledging to "take back our cities from violent criminals and the prosecutors who won’t prosecute them."
"The real crime is that she’s turned our whole city into a crime scene," Vignarajah said, calling out Mosby directly.
The Baltimore Police Department released a short-term plan for reducing crime in the city this week, including by adding more foot patrols, expanding warrant apprehension to get repeat violent offenders off the streets, and working with state and federal partners on investigative efforts.
Mosby did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.