BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A former Baltimore Department of Public Works supervisor pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of extortion under color of official right for misusing his authority by accepting cash payments to have DPW crews do work for private companies, the justice department said Friday.
Ronald Smith, 46, of Elkton, admitted to receiving at least $64,000 for the work he had DPW crews do for the businesses in 2014 and 2015, according to a plea agreement. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to the plea agreement, Smith had city crews install water, sewer and fire lines for lower prices than contractors approved by the city and personally enriched himself from the deals.
Philip Loverde, the co-owner of All Service Plumbing and Drain Cleaning and All Service Plumbing and Heating, worked with Smith to submit false invoices to property owners and developers, claiming his company did the work when it was actually done by city workers, the justice department said. He then shared the money with Smith.
Loverde pleaded guilty in January.