Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has hired a former FBI agent and congressional investigator to become Baltimore's new inspector general.
Robert H. Pearre Jr., an FBI agent in the 1970s and 1980s, will begin June 17, officials said Thursday. He will earn $132,400 a year.
Pearre, 59, replaces former Inspector General David N. McClintock, who earned a reputation for thorough investigations and independence before leaving in February to become the chief internal investigator for Jefferson Parish, La.
Baltimore City Solicitor George Nilson led the search process for McClintock's replacement. City officials said Pearre headed "numerous complex public corruption and fraud investigations" during his work for the FBI.
From 2003 until 2007, Pearre served as chief investigator for the House Appropriations Committee in Washington, where he managed a staff of about 80 with an $8 million annual budget. He oversaw an investigation into fraud, waste and abuse across five states after Hurricane Katrina.
Pearre graduated from Towson University in 1976 and began his professional career as an accountant in Baltimore.
In a statement, Pearre said he planned to deliver "tangible results that will increase integrity in city government."
During three years in City Hall, McClintock's investigations concluded that some city workers were stealing scrap metal and others were overspending on gas credit cards. He also found instances of alleged overbilling by contractors working for the city. Last year, McClintock's office recovered about $540,000 in funds from suspected fraud, waste and abuse, according to an annual report.
His most high profile report detailed possible conflicts of interest and wasteful practices in the Mayor's Office of Information Technology as it purchased equipment for the municipal phone system.
Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, who verbally sparred with Rawlings-Blake throughout the phones investigation, said she looked forward to working with Pearre. But she said she wished she had learned about the hiring from Rawlings-Blake instead of a news release.
"With previous administrations, I would have the opportunity to meet with new hires before they were announced," she said. "I haven't had the chance to speak with him."
In a statement, Rawlings-Blake said she has worked to strengthen the Inspector General's Office. "I have every confidence that Mr. Pearre will use his talents to build upon the progress we have made improving the Inspector General's Office and rooting out potential fraud, waste, and abuse," she said.