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Baltimore Inspector General Probing Phone Deal

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s inspector general says he will look into allegations the mayor’s office illegally purchased video phones, the latest clash between the mayor and the city’s comptroller.

Comptroller Joan Pratt made the accusations Wednesday before the city’s Board of Estimates, which approves city purchases.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake responded the claims were baseless and that the purchases were made as part of a pilot program. The mayor says the comptroller is exaggerating, noting the purchase involved about $20,000 in phones, not the entire $659,000 information technology contract as Pratt claimed.

Inspector General David McClintock said he has requested purchase documents.

Pratt, who was elected to her position, oversees the city’s phone system. The mayor recently criticized Pratt for leaving auditing positions unfilled after she funded them.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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