Jessamy: O'Malley recruiting challenger against me
Over at The Baltimore Sun's Crime Beat blog, colleague Justin Fenton reports that Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy may have a challenger in the fall election.
Word is that former assistant U.S. attorney Gregg Bernstein is testing the waters, and Adam Meister at Examiner.com blogged that a reader had received a phone call from a pollster asking questions about a possible Bernstein candidacy. Bernstein may be best known for successfully defending state Sen. Larry Young against bribery and extortion charges.
But he is also the husband of Sheryl Goldstein, the director of the Mayor's Office on Criminal Justice, which is essentially the mayor's crime czar. In that role, Goldstein works closely with the police department and other law enforcement agencies, and is an integral part of programs such as GunStat and issues dealing with juvenile justice. Obviously, she has a lot of insight into the innerworkings of the criminal justice system, and that would include the state's attorney's office.
Goldstein was brought in during the Dixon administration and is a close ally of Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, and may have to step down or take a leave of absence if her husband's candidacy comes together.
Goldstein declined comment, and Bernstein could not immediately be reached. Jessamy, for her part, said she believes Gov. Martin O'Malley "recruited" Bernstein and said she confronted O'Malley with the claim at an event over the weekend.
"I've heard from a lot of different sources that he's been recruiting. I told him, 'I'm ready for it,'" she said. "I think I have an outstanding record; I'm going to run on my record. I don't know what [Bernstein] is running on, but my record, it's a good one."
Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for O’Malley’s campaign, confirmed that Jessamy approached O’Malley at an event for the Associated Black Charities, but said it’s “simply not true” that O’Malley is behind a potential Bernstein candidacy.