Register of Wills employee tried to cover up felony conviction

Auditors say a supervisor at the agency provided false information on a job application

October 22, 2012|By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun

A supervisor at Baltimore's Register of Wills office tried to hide a felony conviction from his or her employer, according to a report by the office of legislative audits.

The supervisor, who is not named, had been convicted of felony theft and was ordered to pay back more than $100,000.

Acting legislative auditor Thomas J. Barnickel III said his team was tipped off that the person put false information on an employment application.

"Unless we were tipped off on this, this wouldn't be something we would look for or typically find," he said.

The person did not disclose the conviction on the application and provided a Social Security number that did not match records held by the Social Security Administration or the state body that recovers restitution from criminals, according to the report.

Mary W. Conaway, the register of wills, did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Her office oversees the management of estates in Baltimore and collects inheritance taxes.

The auditors referred the matter to the Maryland attorney general's office, according to the report. David Paulson, a spokesman for the office, said the audit will be reviewed.

Having a felony conviction is not a bar to employment, but making a false statement on a job application is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine, according to the report.

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