ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS
The office of State Prosecutor was established by Constitutional amendment in 1976 (Chapter 612, Acts of 1976, ratified Nov. 2, 1976). An independent unit within the Office of the Attorney General, the State Prosecutor's office began operation in January 1977.
300 East Joppa Road, Towson, Maryland, May 2004. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
On the State Prosecutor's own initiative, or at the request of the Governor, the Attorney General, the General Assembly, the State Ethics Commission, or a state's attorney, the State Prosecutor investigates and, where warranted, prosecutes criminal offenses involving the honesty and integrity of government officials, employees or institutions, and the electoral process. These include violations of State election, public ethics, and conflict of interest laws; bribery laws involving public officials or employees; misconduct in office by public officials or employees; and extortion, perjury, or obstruction of justice related to any of these laws. At the request of the Governor, Attorney General, General Assembly, or a state's attorney, the State Prosecutor also may investigate alleged crimes conducted partly in Maryland and partly in another state, or in more than one county in the State.
If a violation of the criminal law is established, the State Prosecutor makes a confidential report of these findings, with recommendations for prosecution, to the Attorney General and the State's Attorney having jurisdiction. The report need not be made to the State's Attorney, however, if the State Prosecutor alleges offenses were committed by the State's Attorney. If the State's Attorney to whom the report is made fails to file charges within 45 days in accordance with the State Prosecutor's recommendations, the State Prosecutor may initiate prosecution. The State Prosecutor immediately may prosecute the offenses in the report and recommendations if they are alleged to have been committed by a state's attorney.
Where no violation of the criminal law has occurred or prosecution is not recommended, the State Prosecutor reports these findings to the person requesting the investigation. The report is made available to the public if the subject of the investigation so requests.
Nominated by the State Prosecutor Selection and Disabilities Commission, the State Prosecutor is appointed to a six-year term by the Governor with Senate advice and consent (Code Criminal Procedure Article, secs. 14-101 through 14-114).
COMPUTER FORENSICS LABORATORY
In December 2006, the Computer Forensics Laboratory was initiated by the State Prosecutor. To strengthen law enforcement capabilities for investigating corruption or other white-collar and non-violent crimes, the Laboratory analyzed digital evidence from computers, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other digital devices. The Laboratory ceased operations in January 2015.
© Copyright July 17, 2017 Maryland State Archives