Two Baltimore public works employees were fired after an investigation found they took trips to Las Vegas and Ocean City when they were supposed to be at work or were on sick leave.
A report released Thursday by the city’s Inspector General says the two unnamed employees — an “Office Support Specialist” and a “Utilities Installation Repair Technician" — were found to be posting photos of vacations on Facebook on days they either clocked in a full day’s work or took time off for sick leave.
According to the report, a female employee posted photos to Facebook seven times from February 2018 to September 2019 showing various vacations, trips or doctor’s appointments that took place on days she logged a full day of work on her timesheets.
Inspector General Isabel Cumming wrote in the report that the unnamed woman was seen in photos taking trips to Ocean City and Las Vegas as well as in restaurants and stores in North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia during those days.
A second employee, a man who is also unnamed, was seen in three of the female employee’s Facebook photos on days when he’d taken off from work for being sick, according to the report. The report says he was seen in photos with her in Ocean City in February 2018 as well as in restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia the following year.
In a response letter attached to the report dated May 20, acting Public Works Director Matthew Garbark wrote the two have since been fired and that the department “is working to recoup the money that was fraudulently reported.”
“Additionally, we have taken corrective action to improve administrative management of staff, oversight of timesheet management, and have retrained staff on the Standard Operating Procedures for payroll,” Garbark wrote.
Jennifer Combs, a spokeswoman for the department, declined to identify the two former employees or say how much money they were improperly paid, saying the department does not comment on personnel matters.
The report is the latest in a series of investigations into the city’s public works department in the last year.
In November, the inspector general’s office found that the affluent Village of Cross Keys complex received city trash service more frequently than department policy allows, costing the city an extra $100,000.