In February, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she would not release an audit of the police department’s overtime claims because it was part of the evidence in a police union suit against the city. But now, the mayor has changed her mind.
City Solicitor Andre Davis says the mayor is expected to release parts of the first phase of the audit in the next week or so.
“The law department has recommended to the mayor that some information be released that will not have an adverse impact on the city’s litigating position because we understand the interest in transparency,” said Davis.
The city has been wrestling with huge police overtime costs, spending more than $47 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, nearly three times what was budgeted.
Davis says the audit being conducted by Baker Tilly Law Firm has two parts. The first part examines the department’s financial processes and points out deficiencies.
Davis says the findings will answer an important question.
“The mayor is asking, well how can it be that a person work so much time and get overtime for those hours,” said Davis. “So that kind of information will be disclose.”
The second part, which may be released within the next few months, will recommend how to correct problems.
Councilman Brandon Scott chair of the city council’s public safety committee says the overtime audit is a welcome addition to the monthly oversight meetings between the council and the department.