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In Dorchester, candidate’s saga as Baltimore prosecutor attracts little scrutiny

As a candidate for state’s attorney in Dorchester County, Molly Fox touts her past experience prosecuting criminal cases in Baltimore.

Her campaign website doesn’t mention, however, the unusual circumstances that surrounded her departure from the office of Baltimore’s top prosecutor.

Fox, who then went by her maiden name, Molly Webb, left the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office in June 2015, only a few months before she was charged with theft and misconduct in office related to allegations she was involved in a scheme to help two police officers fraudulently obtain overtime pay.

Fox was acquitted of all the charges at a bench trial. With the acquittal, court records of the charges have been destroyed and with them any chance of public scrutiny of the case as Fox campaigns to be Dorchester County’s chief law enforcement officer.

Reached by phone, Fox, 40, declined to discuss the case or even confirm that she is the same person who was charged, though she also disputed the accuracy of previous news reports that outlined the details of the case.

She declined to say what she believes to be inaccurate in the reports and said that there could be repercussions for reporting what she called “false information.”

Because Fox’s criminal case was expunged after her acquittal, The Daily Record could not review the original charging documents or any other court records. All of the details in this article came from news reports that are still publicly available online.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Fox was accused of helping two city police officers, including one who was her boyfriend, get overtime pay for appearing in court even though the officers did not show up.

One of the officers, Timothy Stach, was also charged in the alleged scheme. He received probation before judgment, according to the newspaper’s reporting, and left the police department. The details of his charges are also hidden from public view because cases that end in probation before judgment can be expunged when the probation period ends.

In earlier reporting, The Sun identified the other police officer as Vincent Fox. He was not charged with a crime.

Webb married a man named Vince Fox in 2017, according to the couple’s wedding website, which also identifies her as a former Baltimore City prosecutor.

Molly Fox’s campaign website also says that her husband is a retired Baltimore City police officer. Campaign finance records list her full name as Margaret Webb Fox.

Judge Dennis M. Sweeney found Fox — then Molly Webb — not guilty of all charges at a bench trial in July 2016.

The Sun reported that Webb’s lawyer, David B. Irwin, called witnesses who testified that the State’s Attorney’s Office had no “formal policy or training for prosecutors who sign overtime slips for officers who are called to appear in court.”

Webb’s former supervisor testified that it was common to keep police officers “on call” even if they ended up never coming to the courthouse, and that officers could receive overtime pay for being on call, according to the Sun’s reporting. The woman also said prosecutors often signed overtime paperwork for their coworkers who were stuck in court.

Another witness testified that the state’s attorney’s office sent an email once in an effort to gain control of prosecutors signing off on paperwork for other prosecutors, but that the custom soon resumed, the Sun reported.

Irwin declined to discuss the case with The Daily Record but said the charges were “totally unfounded.”

“It was litigated thoroughly before a terrific judge, Dennis Sweeney, who found Molly Webb not guilty of all the misdemeanor charges,” Irwin said.

Prosecutors and others who worked on the case are prohibited from speaking about it because of the expungement. The case was referred to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, which handled the trial.

Webb also made news in 2017, when the Sun reported that she had tried to raise the alarm about Baltimore Police Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, a member of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force who is now serving 25 years in federal prison for brazen crimes he committed while working as a police officer.

Webb learned in 2014 that security camera footage contradicted Jenkins’ account of what happened in a criminal case. The newspaper reported that Webb dropped the 2014 case and reported the incident to her supervisors and internal affairs.

Webb declined to discuss her criminal case for the 2017 article, which said another city prosecutor had made the complaint about her helping two police officers get overtime. The defense lawyer who alerted her to the inconsistency involving Jenkins, however, told the Sun that Webb had gotten a “raw deal.”

Fox’s charges and departure from the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office do not appear to have been raised during the campaign for state’s attorney in Dorchester County. She is running as a Republican in a three-way primary, an unusually competitive race in the rural Eastern Shore county.

The race has pitted Fox against Amanda Leonard, who was named interim state’s attorney for Dorchester County earlier this year after her predecessor was appointed to a judgeship, and Kenneth Thalheimer, a former Anne Arundel County police officer.

Fox’s campaign website highlights her experience prosecuting serious crimes. It also glosses over the end of her time as a prosecutor in Baltimore: “After seven years prosecuting cases in Baltimore City, I tried my hand as a defense attorney, but I came to realize that my passion was fighting for the victims.”

A spokesperson for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office confirmed that Webb worked there from 2006 until June 2015, about three months before Webb was charged criminally, but declined to discuss the reasons for her departure.

Fox joined the Dorchester County State’s Attorney’s Office in 2017, according to her campaign website, and was promoted to deputy state’s attorney, the position she currently holds.