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by Fern Shen7:07 amJun 18, 20200

At Emergency Management: Unauthorized overtime and a loaded Chevy Tahoe

Three months after MOEM director David McMillan took an unexplained leave, Baltimore’s OIG releases a report on policy violations by top officials there

Above: David McMillan, right, at the scene of a suspicious vehicle investigation in downtown Baltimore last year. (Fern Shen)

In March, just as cases of Covid-19 were spreading in Maryland, David McMillan, director of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (MOEM), was abruptly placed on leave. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young refused to say why, calling it “a personal matter.”

Another mystery at MOEM was how Anthony R. Smith, a retired fire department employee working there under contract, was the fifth-highest-paid city employee last year, pulling down $243,747 on a base salary of $105,000.

Yesterday there came an explanation thanks to a report by the Office of the Inspector General.

The investigators found that McMillan had approved improper overtime for Smith and a leased Chevrolet Tahoe at twice the cost of the previous city vehicle he was assigned – after he had crashed the first car on the Beltway at 2:30 a.m. while off duty.

The report also says that Smith worked for the city without a contract for three months and used his city vehicle, mobile phone and computer excessively for personal use in violation of city policies.

The report does not name McMillan or Smith but The Brew has confirmed that they are the subjects of the IG’s report. According to the report, McMillan and Smith no longer work for the city. Neither of them could be reached for comment.

$42,441 in Overtime

The report synopsis, released by Inspector General Isabel Cumming, provides details on her findings.

The one-year contract for Smith that McMillan submitted to the Board of Estimates in December 2018 specified that he would earn $105,000 for the duration of the contract “without any additional benefits and/or compensations.”

But between April 1, 2019 and March 10, 2020, McMillan authorized for Smith 560.50 hours of overtime resulting in $42,441.06 in overtime pay, the report says. McMillan also allowed Smith to continue to work for four months after the expiration of the original contract without submitting a new one.

“An enhanced driver alert package that included power-adjustable pedals, forward collision alert, Intellibeam headlamps, low speed forward automatic braking, lane keep assist. . . “

After Smith was involved in a serious crash in his previous leased city vehicle, McMillan approved the lease of a new take-home emergency vehicle, the OIG said.

The original vehicle was leased at $498 per month, while the new vehicle leased at $977 per month with a $695 customization package the IG deemed not necessary.

Among its features were “an enhanced driver alert package that included power-adjustable pedals, forward collision alert, Intellibeam™ headlamps, low speed forward automatic braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, and safety alert driver seat.”

The added expense to the city was judged to be nearly $54,000. And the extra expenses stemming from the accident cost more than $20,000.

“Unbecoming an employee”

The synopsis also provides some, but not all of the details concerning the improper use of city equipment.

It notes that at the time of the accident, Smith was off-duty, traveling from his home in Harford County towards Glen Burnie for reasons that were “unclear.”

It also notes that Smith violated city policy when he “used city-owned electronic equipment for personal use and engaged in communications and acts, both on and off duty, that are unbecoming of a city employee or contractor.”

The report explained that the details of these violations “are not included in this report due to the findings being of a personnel nature.”

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