Corruption Watch

An investigation found a vehicle auctioneer owed Baltimore $480k. The city couldn’t revoke the license.

SEP 15, 2021 AT 4:15 PM

An investigation by the Baltimore Inspector General’s Office found that an auctioneer owed the city nearly half a million dollars from auctions of impounded or abandoned vehicles in the summer of 2018.

The city sued the company, which Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming’s report did not name, and recovered about $95,000, leaving more than $480,000 outstanding.

But city officials could not revoke the company’s license, the law department said in its response, “because the Auction Advisory Board lacked a quorum, and its sole member had a decadeslong relationship as employer, mentor and business partners.”

The investigation, which accused the company of improperly mixing city money with its own accounts, is the latest accusation of problematic practices among the city’s auction vendors.

It revealed the company continued operating as a vendor for the city after its contract expired, and it owed the city more than $575,000 for four vehicle auctions between June and August of 2018.

The report, released Wednesday, said the company was the city’s second auction vendor to fail to pay back large amounts of revenue to Baltimore in the previous 20 years.

Read The Full Story at The Baltimore Sun