More suspensions expected in DPW probe Department also seeking 8 dismissals

cash abuses, missing goods alleged

May 15, 1998|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Baltimore's Department of Public Works intends to suspend additional employees in a continuing investigation into allegations of missing building materials and petty cash abuses, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday.

Last week, the department recommended firing eight employees after allegations of missing materials, including city equipment, bricks and wood, surfaced. The city has hired a hearing officer to review its recommendations.

Union officials are defending the employees -- whose names have not been released -- saying that the department has failed to detail the reason for the dismissals. The employees are expected to appeal the dismissals to the city's Civil Service Commission.

During his weekly news conference yesterday, Schmoke predicted that additional suspensions would likely arise as a result of the investigation that began two weeks ago at the city's Park Terminal at 2231 N. Fulton Ave.

Employees, several of whom were supervisors, were asked to leave the premises.

"That was just the beginning of an internal investigation that the Department of Public Works is doing," Schmoke said. "There have been allegations involving -- not only the Park Terminal but some other sites -- of people taking materials for private use and of possibly misappropriating petty cash funds."

The investigation has been turned over to the city Law Department, which has refused to comment, stating that the HTC matter is under investigation.

Public Works is the city's largest department, employing 6,000 workers who carry out 10 functions ranging from trash removal to parking enforcement. The department's annual budget exceeds

$500 million.

Pub Date: 5/15/98

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