A Baltimore City Department of Transportation employee stored personal items inside a department facility and then sold them, according to a report by the Office of the Inspector General.



a close up of a sign: Baltimore City Department of Transportation


© Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Baltimore City Department of Transportation

The city agency said in the report issued Wednesday that it started investigating after receiving a complaint. While investigating, the inspector general said, the office found furniture, a slot machine, a bench press and weights, among other items inside a DOT facility. The items were sold online and photographed in the hallways of the facility, the report said, and the placement of furniture violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

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Some DOT employees didn’t know the city’s property disposal process when handling surplus items from closed buildings, the report found.

A supervisor who was involved and the alleged employee were disciplined, according to an attached memo from a deputy administrator. The memo also said all DOT employees were reminded to not store personal items at facilities, block entrances, dispose of items without permission or use exercise equipment.

During an inspector general interview, the employee confirmed that they stored items at the facility from their personal hauling business, the report said, and sold them online on personal time.

The items were reviewed by the inspector general but it “could not conclusively determine” whether the items belonged to Baltimore City. However, the employee’s supervisor said a set of exercise weights was obtained while cleaning out a city building.

The supervisor told the agency that instead of discarding the weights, they were brought back to the facility for employees to use. The employee said they did not know about the policy for the removal process for surplus property, which says that the Bureau of Procurement’s City Purchasing Agent

Stocks closed near session highs on Wednesday as investors bet a stimulus plan, full or partial, will come together after President Trump dialed back plans to scrap the talks.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 28303.46 +530.70 +1.91%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11364.598929 +210.00 +1.88%
SP500 S&P 500 3419.45 +58.50 +1.74%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 530 points or 1.9% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose over 1.7 and 1.8%, respectively.

Transportation stocks soared to a fresh record, as did consumer discretionary names, both would likely benefit from a stimulus deal.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XTN SPDR SERIES TRUST SPDR S TR/S&P TRANSN ETF 60.77 +1.42 +2.39%
XLY CONSUMER DISCRETIONARY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 150.82 +3.37 +2.29%

Trump reversed an earlier stance and signaled he would be willing to sign bills from Congress to support the economy.

He said he would sign a “stand alone bill” for another round of economic stimulus checks in the amount of $1,200. He also promised help for the battered airline industry in the form of $25 billion in relief and also touted releasing funds for small businesses from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Airlines In Focus

All the major airlines rallied as talk of a separate rescue package for the embattled group gains attention between House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 13.07 +0.54 +4.31%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 32.15 +1.09 +3.51%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 36.38 +1.50 +4.30%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 38.59 +1.01 +2.69%
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS 12.29 +0.78 +6.78%

SOUTHWEST CEO PUSHING PAY CUTS

FOMC Warns On Lack

Experts say it will probably take years for such activities as air travel to return to normal. Meanwhile, governments will still have to figure out how to shore up aging infrastructure, alleviate traffic congestion, support mass transit and accommodate the flying public.

The Maryland Department of Transportation has proposed slashing nearly $3 billion from its six-year capital budget. The cuts include delaying $900 million in road projects and postponing construction of a $500 million baggage-handling system and terminal connection at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. The state also plans to temporarily scrap some service for commuter buses and MARC commuter trains, which have ridership hovering at about 10 percent of normal.

“Everything has been hit across our system,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater said. “We have to find the least amount of impact to people, but people will see and feel some of this.”

Slater said his agency is trying to avoid layoffs by scaling back in other areas. For example, roads that typically would get a new layer of asphalt might instead just have potholes patched. Road crews will mow less often.

“I think people are already starting to see grass getting a little bit longer or less litter cleanup,” Slater said.

Nationwide, 18 states and 25 localities have recently canceled or delayed transportation projects valued at $10.9 billion, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

With most governors having declared construction to be essential during the pandemic, many states took advantage of unusually light traffic during stay-at-home orders to step up paving and other work. But much of the work that continued in the spring and early summer fell under contracts signed in the one or two years before the pandemic.

Alison Black, ARTBA’s chief economist, said she was struck by a decline in new contracts