BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Police Department exceeded its overtime budget by more than $12 million over the last two years, including adjustments made for vacant positions and supplemental funding, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Baltimore Office of the Inspector General.
Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming found some management authorized some police department employees to submit and receive payment for both approved personal or vacation leave and overlapping overtime. She was unable to determine the exact excess due to the department’s practice of simultaneous payment for paid leave and overtime hours.READ MORE: Some Marylanders Plan To Take Precautions As COVID-19 Positivity Rate Rises Above 3 Percent
“Although this practice is permitted and does violate any city policy, it could be perceived as wasteful,” she wrote in the report.
Labor Commissioner Deborah Moore-Carter said the practice has been permitted for years and changing it would require negotiation with the Fraternal Order of Police, according to the report. The department is negotiating with the FOP for successor memoranda of understanding, including reforming this practice and others, the report stated.READ MORE: Maryland Farmers' Market Week Kicks Off This Week
Cumming’s office opened the investigation based on a complaint that sworn police department employees were being paid for overtime for which they were not entitled. After concluding the investigation, she referred it to the department’s Public Integrity Bureau.
City Councilman Mark Conway, chairman of the Public Safety and Government Operations Committee, said in a statement the committee would hold a hearing in August to discuss the report and possible solutions. A date was not available.
“Today’s report by the inspector general made for disappointing reading, from a fiscal and basic fairness standpoint,” he said. “When employees put in for paid days off, they should not be able to then claim overtime pay for those same days. The department has made great strides in reducing overtime spending, but clearly there is still work to be done so city government does right by the Baltimore taxpayer.MORE NEWS: Prayer Vigil To Be Held Monday For Two Children Found Dead In Car Trunk In Essex