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OIG: DPW employee kept nearly $50k in city checks on desk for years

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Posted at 1:29 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 13:43:02-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore's Inspector General on Wednesday revealed that a Department of Public Works employee neglected to deposit thousands of dollars worth of checks made out to the city.

In total, 12 checks were found inside a box on an employee's desk in the amount of $48,478. The payments were for the city's review of engineering plans and projects.

According to the Inspector General, Isabel Mercedes Cumming, several of the checks were over five years old, had expired, and were unable to be cashed. Many of the companies were no longer even in business, including one who wrote out a check for $38,000.

In her report, Cumming discovered the employee had prior organizational issues, but they were never documented.

A supervisor told the Inspector General the employee was given verbal counseling because they were "negligent but not malicious." The supervisor also never reported the loss to upper management, telling the Inspector General that the $48,000 "was not a make or break" amount of money compared to the average revenue collected by the department.

Following the report, Acting DPW Director Matthew G. Garbark said the department would pursue disciplinary action against the employees, and adjust procedures.