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Municipal government

Office of Information Technology probe now includes city prosecutors

It's alleged that Mayor's Office of Information Technology contractors were paid for work that was not completed. The state's attorney's office may also be involved in the fraud investigation.

Chris Tonjes was placed on administrative leave in March and resigned in June. (Photo by Andrew Zaleski, file)

Baltimore city prosecutors are now working with the city inspector general’s office on a probe into the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology, the Baltimore Sun reports. The contracting scandal has already led the city’s CTO to resign.
From the Sun report:

City Solicitor George A. Nilson, who supervises city Inspector General Robert H. Pearre Jr., confirmed that Baltimore prosecutors are now involved in the probe.

“They have been working together,” Nilson said. “I do know that the investigation is not 100 percent complete. I do know there have been collaborative activities between the inspector general and state’s attorney’s office.”

Pearre and Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein, declined to comment on the investigation.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced in March that the inspector general had begun an investigation into what she called “very serious allegations of fraud and abuse.”

In June, CTO Chris Tonjes resigned. Already on administrative leave since March, Tonjes denied wrongdoing.
“Neither my career accomplishments, nor my unblemished record of public service, nor the undisputed fact that I have not engaged in any wrongdoing have brought this never-ending investigation to a close,” Tonjes wrote in a letter to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tendering his resignation.
It’s alleged that MOIT contractors were paid for work that was not completed. To date, Tonjes has not been specifically named in any ethics violations.
His resignation follows that of his predecessor, Rico Singleton, who stepped aside in 2012, also amid misconduct allegations.
Tonjes’ deputy, L. Jerome Mullen, has been leading the office since March.
Tonjes is scheduled to speak Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Baltimore Innovation Week’s #Failfest.

Companies: Mayor’s Office of Information Technology / City of Baltimore

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