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OIG Report: Towing company under contract with BPD improperly stored, sold three vehicles

baltimore city money
Posted at 2:46 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 14:50:10-05

BALTIMORE — A towing company under contract with the Baltimore Police Department improperly stored and sold three vehicles towed on behalf of BPD.

According to a OIG report, the contractor sold vehicles to an auto body store for $300 each.

The car rental firm Enterprise owned all three of the vehicles, and was able to recoup the vehicles from the auto body store after paying over $5,000 worth of fees.

During an OIG interview, the Owner of the Vendor company stated in March of 2020 all Medallion tow truck companies were informed by the DOT to tow vehicles involved in accidents to their private tow lots instead of City Yard.

The Vendor then stated the City Yard was only accepting and storing vehicles that were involved in a BPD investigation.

The DOT Acting Towing Division Chief (Towing Chief) informed the OIG, that DOT learned about the scrapped vehicles after BPD discovered none of the vehicles were stored at the City Yard.

The Towing Chief stated since the start of the pandemic, Medallion tow companies were told to take vehicles involved in accidents back to their respective lots. The Towing Chief said Medallion tow companies were also advised via multiple emails that towed vehicles accompanied with a tow report or instructions that specifies the City Yard as the drop off destination must be stored at the City Yard.

The report states the Towing Chief said they have personally told the Owner more than once that he must follow the tow drop off destination instructions written on the tow report.

The Towing Chief advised the OIG that during the pandemic the City Yard temporarily shut down the front office, but the yard was never closed to tow truck companies dropping off towed vehicles.

Last January, a previous OIG investigation discovered the Vendor reported false subcontractor payment information to the Bureau of Procurement (BOP) in order to appear compliant with the MWBOO goals of the contract.