MdTA Police probing civilian employee in alleged financial irregularities

May 28, 2008|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,Sun Reporter

Maryland Transportation Authority Police are conducting an internal investigation of a civilian employee who has been accused of misconduct while working a separate job as a bartender at Baltimore's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, said MdTA police Chief Marcus Brown.

The employee is a retired city officer who performs background checks for prospective MdTA officers.

"It is a personnel issue," Brown said in a telephone interview. "In any case that we receive an allegation of misconduct, we'll be doing an administrative inquiry. His supervisor will be spending time with the city FOP."

Transportation Authority police officers patrol bridges, toll facilitiess, the port and BWI Marshall Airport.

Brown said the inquiry was initiated last week and would take about a week to complete. No criminal or administrative charges have been filed against the man, a member of the city FOP, which represents about 4,800 current and retired police officers.

Financial irregularities at the union hall were discovered this year when an audit uncovered evidence that the man had lost roughly $10,000 playing Keno at the lodge and then dipped into the bar till to pay that gambling debt, according to three union officials familiar with the circumstances. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about union affairs.

When confronted, the man repaid the union, according to the sources. The man could not be reached for comment.

Paul Blair, the union president, declined to release the audit or minutes from meetings in which the leadership discussed the allegations.

"I'm not going to comment on an internal matter that has been handled," Blair said. "It has nothing to do with the public."

He added: "There are no missing funds from the FOP. I have a very good treasurer who ran a very good audit."

However, several union members said they had expected the issued to be raised at a union meeting held late last night.

Carole Everett, a spokeswoman from the Maryland Lottery Agency, confirmed that the FOP has paid its lotto debts on time.

annie.linskey@baltsun.com

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