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Ex-city technology contractor pleads guilty to theft, repays Baltimore $165,000

A corporation formerly contracted to provide information technology services to the city agreed to pay Baltimore more than $165,000 in restitution after a criminal charge against its president was dropped.

Investment Management Enterprises pleaded guilty to one count of theft in exchange for the charge against Twyla Garrett being dropped. Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill accepted the plea deal Wednesday.

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The company was sentenced to three months of probation. The city received a check for the full amount owed during court proceedings.

Garrett and her company were indicted on theft charges last year after an investigation by the city's inspector general into the mayor's office of information technology. Garrett, 44, of Fort Washington was accused of submitting false invoices from Jan. 1, 2013, to Jan. 15, 2015, according to court records.

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Prosecutors alleged that Garrett altered time sheets for one employee and billed the city for more than 500 hours the employee did not work at a total cost of about $73,000. She was also accused of billing the city for 650 hours a second employee did not work, for a total of $93,000.

Garrett's attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, declined to comment.

The case stemmed from an investigation by Inspector General Robert H. Pearre Jr. that began in March 2014. Pearre said the overbilling was not caught by the city because of inadequate contract management and oversight. No Baltimore officials were charged as a result of the investigation.

"This case reflects the city's resolve to identify and prosecute corrupt vendor practices, and cases involving contract administration will continue to be a high priority for the OIG," Pearre said in a statement.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she is committed to "rooting out fraud, waste and abuse."

The inspector general's investigation into the case is closed, according to Rawlings-Blake spokesman Howard Libit.

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