NewsLocal News


Board satisfied with performance of Baltimore's Inspector General despite some critics

Isabel Mercedes Cumming
Posted at 11:44 AM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 15:30:31-05

BALTIMORE — An advisory board has issued its first performance review of Baltimore City Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming.

Overall, the seven member panel found that Cumming is doing an "effective job and is held in high regard by the public. They also find that the OIG is hard-working, highly capable, and committed to carrying out its obligations under the Charter."

In her response to the review, Cumming acknowledged some changes her office made as suggested by the board.

Those include the creation of a publicly available strategic plan which explains how the Inspector General selects what matters to investigate, and a list of office policies and priorities.

The board was assembled in June by Baltimore City Solicitor Jim Shea, based on the City Charter which requires oversight of the Inspector General.

Although Cumming in the past has agreed with the idea of oversight, members of this particular board are empowered to determine her fate.

The Inspector General has expressed concern that current members of the board could present a potential conflict of interest, in the event any of them come under investigation by her office.

That sentiment was agreed upon by at least one of the board's members, Ronald Weich, Dean of the University of Baltimore Law School.

Currently the board is chaired by Shea and includes two sitting City Council members, Vice President Sharon Middleton and Councilman Eric Costello, who were appointed by City Council President Nick Mosby and husband of City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Other members were appointed by Mayor Brandon Scott, including his Chief of Staff, Michael Huber.

The Board decided to meet after Cumming came under fire earlier this year when she released a report criticizing Marilyn Mosby's travel and side businesses.

MORE: New advisory board could determine fate of Baltimore City's Inspector General

That prompted local groups such as the NAACP to accuse Cumming of using her office to target minority city contractors and elected leaders, despite Mosby herself requesting the investigation.

Cumming's term in office will conclude at the end of 2024, at which point the board will be tasked with choosing her successor.

In the meantime the board is supposed to meet at minimum once annually, to assess Cumming's job performance.

The full review can be read below.