Security company made $1.67 million guarding complex

March 03, 2001|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

A private security company that abruptly canceled its contract Thursday to guard a West Baltimore senior housing complex collected $1.67 million over two years, according to records released yesterday.

The Sun reported this week that the Housing Authority of Baltimore City was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to Solidarity Security & Investigation Inc. to protect the 203-unit Rosemont Towers at 740 Poplar Grove Ave. and nearby blocks.

Rosemont Towers was the only one of 18 senior complexes in the city protected by a private security firm. The city was paying the company while it was laying off Housing Authority police because of a budget crunch.

City Councilwoman Agnes B. Welch, who was co-owner of a building that rented space to Solidarity Security, advocated the 2-year-old arrangement, according to sources familiar with the contract.

Housing Authority officials initially refused to provide financial details about the contract, which is a matter of public record.

In releasing the information yesterday, authority spokesman Kevin Brown said the agency "wasn't trying to hide anything. We just wanted to make sure the information was correct."

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