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Wes Moore paid thousands in unpaid water bills out of ‘abundance of caution’

Wes Moore, Robin Hood Foundation CEO, visits Center for Urban Families
Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 18:21:12-04

BALTIMORE — The latest polls show Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore ahead in the governor's race, but records showed the candidate was behind with a more than $21,000 outstanding water bill balance for his Baltimore home.

Records show the last payment made to DPW was in March last year. When asked, a spokesperson for the Moore campaign said last night:

“The Moores paid the bill as soon as they became aware of it out of an abundance of caution while they review the accuracy of the charges."

RELATED: Gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore owed over $20,000 in Baltimore water bills

In a board of estimates meeting in February, in an assessment of the DPW’s water billing risks, auditors found in 2019 and 2020 the City did not take proactive measures to increase water revenue collections.

It did not have processes in place to collect delinquent accounts and DPW could not show how much they billed customers during the fiscal period.

Meanwhile for residents like Alice Dabney, their bill isn't going down.

“I pay 100, $200 every month on my water bill and I’m not washing clothes, and I don’t have cars anything, but it looks like the water bill not going down,” said Dabney.

WMAR-2 News found numerous similar outstanding bills throughout the city like Lyric Opera House with more than 30,000 owed.

Records showed Baltimore Freedom Academy owed more than $40,000.

Fallstaff Elementary and Middle owe more than $73,000.

We asked the city questions that include the amount of delinquent water bills there are.

What happens to those who haven’t paid? And how does the city not go after people who have thousands of dollars of outstanding water bills?

The city never responded to the inquiry with no one made available for comment.

This is just weeks after DPW’s leadership was under scrutiny regarding communication in a hearing surrounding how the city informed residents concerning the E. coli contamination placing hundreds under a boil water alert.

How candidate Wes Moore went a year and half without paying a water bill is just scratching the surface of a deeper issue for people like Dabney.

“The system is wrong. You keep checking on the poor person. The little person but the people that got the people that got the money, they don’t check on them,” said Dabney.

“They would’ve cut my water off. That’s what they would’ve done. They would’ve cut my water off at $2,000, $3,000 and some people, they cut their water off after they don’t get $500 out of you,” said another citizen.

But when asked about candidate Wes Moore’s delinquent status she answered saying, “There is a disparity, but the reason why I can’t answer that. I’m sorry to tell you guys I can’t answer that because I can’t judge that. I just cannot judge that.”