- Associated Press - Friday, September 15, 2017

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has cut funding from a Baltimore criminal-justice council because he said the group was ineffective, and did not focus on reducing the city’s violent crime problem.

On Friday V. Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, sent a letter to the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council announcing that the state is terminating funding for the group.

“By any measure, the mission of the CJCC is not being carried out, and its goals to reduce violent crime are not being met,” Fueston wrote. “Continuing to fund the CJCC is simply not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.”

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At a news conference, Hogan said he was doing so because its members did not show up to meetings, and failed to address serious violent crime issues. The state had provided the council with roughly $275,000, which Hogan said will be given to the mayor’s office.

Hogan said he met with the council this week, “and I thought they weren’t accomplishing anything.”

Weeks ago, Hogan met with members of the council, but three judges didn’t attend, citing the importance of preserving their independence amid calls for tougher sentences for gun crimes. In a letter to Hogan, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera wrote on behalf of members of the judiciary who sit on the council that Maryland law “prohibits judges from making statements about how they might sentence.”

Terri Charles, a spokeswoman for the Maryland judicial branch, did not immediately return a call for comment Friday.

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