Civic News

Former IT contractor banned from city work for 10 years

The decision stemmed from a 2014 investigation into the Mayor's Office of Information Technology. Investigators found that Investment Management Enterprise criminally overbilled the city, and falsified an email from Chris Tonjes.

Baltimore City Hall.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Baltimore city officials meted out punishment last week to a former IT contractor who submitted falsified invoices the city.
According to WBAL-TV, Investment Management Enterprise (IME) and its CEO Twyla Garrett were banned from doing business with the city for 10 years. The city’s Board of Estimates unanimously approved the decision, which stemmed from a 2014 case in which IME billed the city for $165,000 worth of consulting work for the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology that it did not perform.
Garrett pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of over $100,000 earlier this year and paid restitution, according to the city inspector general’s office.
In addition to the overbilled work, WBAL’s Jayne Miller reports that a city lawyer showed how Garrett doctored an email from MOIT’s then-director Chris Tonjes.

The city said the firm tried to defend itself after being charged criminally by using a falsified email. In a fake email, an additional sentence was added to make it appear that the city’s head of technology at the time had approved the inflated billing.

Tonjes resigned from the position in 2014, saying he did not want to become a distraction. He has denied wrongdoing, and was not accused of misconduct. No city official was charged in the case.

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