Maryland Attorney General
Katie Curran O’Malley
Homeland, Baltimore City
Retired District Court judge
Juris Doctor, University of Baltimore School of Law, 1991 Bachelor of Arts, Towson University, 1985
What is the most pressing issue facing the state of Maryland?
I believe the most pressing issue facing our state is that too many Marylanders do not feel safe in their own homes and in their communities. We need to protect people against the rising crime that is plaguing our neighborhoods and that disproportionately impacts people of color. At the same time, we need to fight for real criminal justice reform so that everyone gets equal justice. That is why the first plan I released in my campaign detailed how I will fight for criminal justice reform as Attorney General. We are often faced with a false choice between safe communities and a fair and accountable criminal justice system. In truth, we can only achieve safer communities when there is fairness and equity in our criminal justice system. We can and must do both.
What do you believe is the appropriate role of the AG’s office regarding ongoing violence in Baltimore?
I have lived in Baltimore my entire life and know that our city will only realize its full potential as a place to live and work when everyone, regardless of their neighborhood or the color of their skin, feels safe from crime and violence. I have 30 years of experience working in our legal?system. I know how the criminal justice system works and how it doesn’t. As Attorney General, I will work closely with local, state, federal, and community partners to reduce violent crime and stop the spread of illegal guns through a series of appropriately intensive and escalating intervention strategies focusing on those most at risk of being a victim or perpetrator of violent crime. I will make it a priority to ensure that these intervention strategies are pursued aggressively with absolute integrity, particularly through the Organized Crime and Fraud and Corruption Units, and the Independent Investigations Division.
Attorney General Brian Frosh and Gov. Larry Hogan clashed publicly several times, with Frosh once recusing himself from representing the governor after he ended enhanced unemployment benefits early. What responsibility does the AG’s office have…
The Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State of Maryland and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is responsible for representing Maryland’s state government, acting as legal advisors and representatives of State agencies, boards, commissions, officials, and institutions. These responsibilities include representing the State’s interests in local, state, and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as enforcing State antitrust, consumer protection, and securities laws, and conducting criminal prosecutions and appeals. There can be occasions when the faithful discharging of these duties could bring the OAG into conflict with the agencies of State government, including the governor and the Maryland General Assembly. It is the responsibility of the OAG to try and constructively work through these issues, offering advice and representation that serves the shared interests of the State government and the public it serves.
What are your top three priorities regarding the environment?
Marylanders are seeing the real cost of climate change. This includes storm damage on the Eastern Shore, historic flooding in Ellicott City and other parts of the state, and increasing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. As Attorney General, I will fight to make clean air, clean land, clean water, and clean energy the environmental legacy we leave our children and grandchildren. The Office of the Attorney General is equipped with expansive powers to investigate and prosecute criminal environmental violations. My top three priorities for the environmental are: (1) Protecting the environment, including the Chesapeake Bay, and public health for all Marylanders, especially those who have been historically subject to disproportionate levels of pollution; (2) Holding polluters accountable; (3) Ensuring Maryland meets and exceeds its commitments for emissions reductions and clean energy production.
How equitably do police officers treat people of color?
Most police officers are hard-working and dedicated public servants who are trying to protect the people of Maryland.?At the same time, it is undeniable that racism still plagues police departments here in Maryland and across the country.?Far too many lives have been lost and far too many people of color feel unsafe in their own communities. I have 30 years of experience working in our legal?system as an Assistant State’s Attorney and a?Baltimore City District Court Judge.?I know how the criminal justice system works and how it doesn’t. ?As Attorney General, I will fight for a criminal justice system with three inseparable elements: fairness, accountability, and safety. All Marylanders deserve safe and healthy communities to live, work, and raise a family. But to realize that goal, we must address the systemic failures of the criminal justice system.