By Luke Broadwater
The Baltimore Sun
8:07 PM EDT, May 1, 2013
UPDATE: O'Malley's spokeswoman, Raquel Guillory, said late Wednesday that the governor had a meeting with the mayor and discussed "the history of the case and the formation of the task force."
O'Malley thanked Rawlings-Blake for the city's participation on the Maryland Prison Task Force, which "made the case with state and federal partners," Guillory said. She added that the governor asked for the city's "continued participation as we work to expand this beach-head and follow this case as far and high as it goes."
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday she wants to meet with Gov. Martin O’Malley and get "some answers" about alleged corruption at the city jail.
“It’s a very serious situation and it concerns a state-run facility that is located in Baltimore city, with very serious implications,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I want an opportunity to talk with him about how the investigation was initiated and where he sees it going from here.”
Last week, a federal grand jury indicted 25 people, including 13 correctional officers, with participating in a smuggling scheme that brought marijuana, cigarettes, painkillers and cellphones to detainees at the state-run Baltimore City Detention Center.
The alleged scale of the gang control in Baltimore — and lurid details of correctional officers having sex with prisoners — drew national attention. Four correctional officers were alleged to have become pregnant by alleged Black Guerrilla Family member and jailhouse kingpin Tavon White.
On Wednesday, the mayor said she didn’t know the root causes of the corruption, but planned to ask about how such scandals can be prevented in the future.
“Hopefully, I’ll get some answers when I talk with the governor, and see where we go from here,” she said.
A week earlier, Rawlings-Blake said city police participated in the investigation and pledged continued “collaboration and cooperation” with the state officials who run the jail.
The mayor said she’d heard of rumors about corruption among jail guards and inmates and was glad to see it brought to light. She called the criminal actions detailed in the indictment “dangerous” and “unsettling.”
“We knew of information and participated in the investigation with calls that were coming from the jail,” she said. “I’m very pleased the indictments were made. This is something that had been rumored. It’s certainly dangerous when we think that we’re putting criminals behind bars to serve time yet they’re still in business. It’s dangerous. It’s unsettling. It works against our efforts to make Baltimore safer.”
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