Simms 'unfairly tainted' by probe of halted drug raid, Schmoke says

December 03, 1993|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,Staff Writer

Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday that city state's attorney Stuart O. Simms is being "unfairly tainted" by an investigation by the Maryland special prosecutor of a decision to halt a narcotics raid at the home of a prominent Baltimore lawyer in 1987.

Mr. Schmoke, the city's chief prosecutor at the time, said Mr. Simms, then his top deputy, did nothing wrong and again blasted a report last March by a special city grand jury that led to the probe by state special prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli.

The report charged that Baltimore's drug war is poorly managed and politically-influenced by some members of the Police Department and state's attorney's office.

"The bottom line in this whole matter is I think Stuart has been unfairly tainted by this process. I said before, if the grand jury that did this report had evidence of criminal wrongdoing, they should have indicted and they didn't. In my view if a grand jury is going to make those kinds of charges against somebody, it ought to have the courage to bring criminal indictment. In this instance, they put all these allegations out and then didn't take the next step and to me that's an abuse of the process," Mr. Schmoke said at his regular press briefing yesterday.

Investigators for the special prosecutor have obtained a memorandum from Mr. Simms directing that police not carry out a raid on the residence of Georgia H. Goslee, The Sun reported yesterday.

Ms. Goslee was a political supporter of Mr. Schmoke's 1987 mayoral candidacy and an unsuccessful candidate for a Circuit Court judgeship. Police wanted to search her condominium as part of a major cocaine trafficking investigation of Arthur Mitchell, now serving a 20-year prison sentence after being convicted as a result of the investigation.

Mr. Schmoke said yesterday that he has not been interviewed by the state prosecutor's office and that he does not recall seeing the memo by Mr. Simms, a close friend and political associate. But Mr. Schmoke said from what he read of the memo in The Sun, "nothing . . . troubled me in the least. It appeared to [Mr. Simms] the probable cause was thin. It didn't say stop. It said go back and get some more information.

"To me, what's going on is that you have a dispute between some of the investigators in the cases and the prosecutor," he added. "Ninety percent of the time they agree. But sometimes they don't agree. And I can't imagine that those disagreements would lead to a criminal investigation. But they have. And I just think that this process has been terribly unfair to [Mr. Simms].

"I know for a fact that he has lost two appointments to high-level federal positions because of the ongoing investigations. And I know for a fact that when Stephen Montanarelli finishes his investigation in the matter related to Georgia Goslee, he is going to conclude there was no criminal wrongdoing and nothing improper was done."

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