We’re all familiar with the proverb, rats flee a sinking ship. To see this in action on a human scale we need look no further than the offices of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

In a story that’s gotten remarkably little news coverage, the Baltimore Sun Times reports that four of the Mayor’s highest ranking staff have quit since six Baltimore police officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

Among those who have resigned:

LeVar Michael, Head of the mayor’s Office of Nonviolent Programs, resigned on Wednesday, May 20.

Angela Johnese, Director of the Criminal Justice Office, resigned on Friday, May 22.

Heather Brantner, Coordinator of the Mayor’s Sexual Assault Response Team, also resigned on Friday, May 22. (Coincidence?)

Perhaps most shocking however, was the next resignation the following week:

Shannon Cosgrove, the Mayor’s own Deputy Director, resigned Tuesday, May 26 (the day after Memorial Day.)

For those without a calendar in front of them, that’s four high-level departures in a period of four business days.

What’s particularly notable is the reason each of those high-level staff gave for abruptly resigning their positions.

Haha, tricked you! None of them gave any reason whatever. They just up and left. Boom.

In other totally predictable news it turns out that the mayor’s office’s initial estimate that the “space to destroy” riots had cost the City of Baltimore $9 million was a slight underestimate.

The actual figure?

In fact, apparently no one is even willing to hazard a guess at a specific figure.

It seems certain, however, that the actual damages exceed $20 million, more than double the mayor’s estimate, and perhaps exceed that figure by a great deal.

Perhaps the current figures will pale in comparison to the damage that is likely to be inflicted on the City of Baltimore should the prosecution of the six police officers collapse.

Should be an interesting summer for Baltimore.

But hey, at least there’s a silver lining in the local city economy—the mayor’s office is likely to be hiring.

UPDATE (6/6/15): Yesterday the Baltimore Sun reported that a fifth member of Mayor Rawlings-Balke’s Office of Criminal Justice had jumpted ship.  With the departure of Amy Hartman, a leader in the city’s public safety efforts, “nearly a third of the 16-member office is departing amid the recent surge in violence” in the Baltimore. (h/t commenter MousetheLuckyDog)

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.