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Inspector General raises concern over bribes offered to Baltimore City building inspectors

baltimore city money
Posted at 4:17 PM, Aug 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-22 16:19:42-04

BALTIMORE — A new Inspector General (IG) report raises concern about Baltimore City building inspectors being offered bribes.

An investigation was launched after a tip came in accusing a Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) inspector of approving a permit in exchange for money.

Although the IG could not directly substantiate the complaint, the report highlights two separate occasions in which contractors offered bribes in hopes of passing inspection.

In one scenario the inspector accepted the offering, which reportedly was under $50. They apparently told a supervisor about it, but were told they could keep the money because the value didn't exceed a certain amount.

However, that appears to contradict not only state law but also a DHCD employee memo specifically stating "personnel shall understand that money or other items of monetary value, such as a meal, offered in relation to performing any City service is not permitted and does not fall under the gift exception."

The IG says the money in this case did not change the outcome of the inspection.

To avoid future conflict, the IG recommended a new policy be put into effect that would require inspectors to immediately report any bribe attempts when they occur.

The full report can be read here.