Two Department of Transportation employees were fired after the Office of the Inspector General found they spent a good chunk of the workday chilling at home.
Initially, the OIG was tipped off that a traffic maintenance worker within the division would work part of his shift and then take a city-issued truck to his house, where he would stay for hours.
After investigating, inspectors established this was a pattern for two traffic maintenance workers in the Signs and Markings Section; they were often assigned together because one had lost his driving privileges after failing to show up for a mandated re-certification course.
“On multiple occasions, the OIG observed one employee drop the other off near his home, then proceed to his own home, where he would remain for hours at a time,” the report said. “He would then return to pick up the first employee before the end of their workday.”
One of them had been doing this since January 2017, the report said, and the other started soon after.
When presented with a final investigation, managers at DOT fired the two loafers.
In a letter attached to today’s report, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said DOT is drafting a new operating procedure “to provide better oversight of field employees in the future which will be signed by all supervisors.”
The OIG is spending a considerable amount of time focusing on DOT. A report issued in February found two employees were conducting private business at work–also within the Signs and Markings Section–and that a $215,000 metal fabrication machine was “a waste of City funds” because few workers did not receive the proper training to use it.
The inspector general is reportedly working on a larger investigation into the overall morale of the department. At the start of the year, the official who oversaw the Bike Share program resigned, citing “bullying” within the department.
Four days after that inquiry was announced, then-Director Michelle Pourciau resigned. Frank Murphy is now serving as acting director.
Kathy Dominick, a spokesperson for the department, told Baltimore Fishbowl, “Because this is a personnel matter, we won’t be able to comment.”