Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor The Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor was established by Constitutional Amendment in 1976. An independent unit within the Office of the Attorney General, the State Prosecutor’s office began operation January 1977. Nominated by the State Prosecutor Selection and Disabilities Commission, the State Prosecutor is appointed to a six-year term by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The State Prosecutor may investigate certain criminal offenses on their own initiative or at the request of the Governor, the Attorney General, the General Assembly, the State Ethics Commission, or a State’s Attorney. These include: o Violations of state elections law o Public ethics o Bribery involving public officials or employees o Misconduct in office by public officials or employees o Extortion, perjury, or obstruction of justice related to any of the above 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 jurisdiction, or in more than one political subdivision in the state. In investigating and prosecuting cases in which they are authorized to act, the State Prosecutor has all the powers and duties of a State’s Attorney. If a violation of the criminal law has occurred, 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 to prosecute the matter. Such a report need not be made to the State’s Attorney, unless, the State Prosecutor’s findings and recommendations contain allegations of offenses committed by the State’s Attorney. If the State’s Attorney to whom the report is given fails to file charges within 45 days in accordance with the State Prosecutor’s recommendations, the State Prosecutor may proceed with the prosecution. The State Prosecutor may proceed immediately with the prosecution of offenses presented in a report 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 their findings to the person requesting the investigation. This only occurs when the Governor, Attorney General, General Assembly, State Ethics Commission, or a State’s Attorney requests the investigation. In all other cases, investigations by the State Prosecutor are conducted by their own initiative and no reports are required if there is no violation of law or no recommendation for prosecution. Only the person who is the subject of an investigation may request a report required by statute be made public. The Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor can be reached at www.osp.maryland.gov.
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