BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City’s inspector general claims the city mismanaged at least $1.4 million last fiscal year.

This is the first inspector general report since voters in Baltimore created an independent office in 2018- designed to root out fraud and abuse.

The Office of the Inspector General’s investigation of the City’s retirement savings plan found $218,000 from retirement forfeiture accounts were used instead to renovate offices.

The director approved the spending with “little to no accountability and oversight” and did not follow procedures. They are no longer employed by the City.

“When payroll gets approved payroll slips, they do their job,” Baltimore City Inspector General Isabel Cumming said. “The supervisors are where we need to be a little more accountable.”

Cumming’s office found two people were paid as full-time employees by the Department of Housing and Community Development, despite working part-time a few hours each week- one out of state and the other out of the country.

In a review of two fiscal years, the report shows the City’s health department wasted $170,000 for gifts for staff, promotional items, conferences and snacks.

“Our office is basically the fiscal watchdog,” Cumming said.

The report also highlights how complaints to her office have risen from 70 per year to 70 per month, there’s also a case of a city finance department employee mistakenly receiving double pay for five months without anyone noticing.

He eventually agreed to pay the city back, and is no longer employed by the city.

“We see that more city employees are starting to say and they see things wrong, but when people see things wrong, let her know,” Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott said.

A spokesman for Mayor Jack Young said he is grateful for the OIG report in working “to make a more efficient local government.”

Paul Gessler

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