A Baltimore official was paid twice, netting $34,600 in unearned wages, inspector general finds

A Baltimore government official was paid both as a salaried and wage-earning employee — wrongly receiving an additional $34,600 in his paychecks — and didn’t disclose the extra pay to his bosses, the city’s inspector general found.

The official is not identified in a public summary of the investigation that was published Wednesday. The summary says he worked in a finance role in a city department.

The official was “separated from city employment” as a result of the investigation, according to Mayor Catherine Pugh’s official response to the inspector general. Pugh said she was directing the city to recover the overpaid money.

But the report questioned whether the man should have been hired in the first place. The inspector general worked with the city’s human resources department to evaluate the official’s experience.

“His background and work history did not represent significant experience in accounting or finance as required by the position,” wrote Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming in the report summary.

“The evaluation confirmed that the official did not satisfy the minimum qualifications of his position,” she wrote.

The overpayment was the result of an error in how the official was entered into a human resources database, but the inspector general said city employees are required to ensure they’re being paid the right amount. The official didn’t do that, telling investigators he didn’t realize a mistake had been made.

The double payments occurred between October 2017 and March 2018. A city accountant eventually noticed the error and fixed the official’s paycheck, according to the report summary.

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