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Mobtown Beat

I.G. Popped

New Mayoral Administration Installs New Inspector General

By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 2/14/2007

Mayor Sheila Dixon has quietly replaced the city's inspector general, prompting the resignation of one of the office's three investigators and leaving the fate of at least one ongoing investigation in question.

A government watchdog agency ostensibly independent from politics, the Office of Inspector General was created by former mayor Martin O'Malley about 18 months ago. He hired Andrew Clemmons, a retired postal inspector, for the post and made him an at-will employee. In other words, it's a patronage job.

"That's the way it works in the political arena, and I knew that coming in," Clemmons said as he packed up his desk on Jan. 26. "I'm out of here, man."

Dixon named Hilton Green to replace Clemmons later that day.

Since 2001, Green has served as the inspector general of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. He was deputy inspector general at the Chicago Housing Authority before that, and prior to that he was a supervisory agent at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General. Green ran HUD's Office of Inspector General's special investigations division, mayoral spokesman Anthony McCarthy says.

Clemmons' replacement prompted Alan Stubbs, an agent in the city Office of Inspector General, to resign.

"Unfortunately the recent action by the interim mayor to remove the Inspector General Mr. Andrew Clemmons without cause is an anathema to the concept of the Office of Inspector General," Stubbs wrote in his resignation letter, dated Jan. 29. "An Office of Inspector General that is not free from the corrupting influence of the political machine is of no value to the citizens of Baltimore."

In an interview, Stubbs says he has no faith in Green, who he regarded as an obstruction in city housing investigations. "My perception was he was serving as a management representative for housing and not as an I.G.," he says.

Green declines to comment on Stubbs' departure, saying that, as policy, he does not consider it proper for agents to talk to the press. He pledges to continue investigating the open cases he has inherited, including the housing case. "We will continue to look at all allegations," Green says.

Clemmons set up the office, wrote a "policy and procedure manual," and set up a computerized case-tracking system. His office's reports were posted at www.ci.baltimore.md.us/government/inspectorgeneral/audit.html. So far, there are only two: the annual report of the Office of Inspector General, and one called "Time and attendance controls at the Eastern Chest Clinic." But the office has been working on some potentially beefy investigations, including one of the I Can homeless shelters ("Helter Shelter," Mobtown Beat, Jan. 10) and an inquiry into the city housing department prompted by City Paper's series on building collapses ("Collapse," July 26 and Aug. 2, 2006).

The fate of that investigation, which city housing officials have impeded, is now uncertain.

Clemmons says he hopes his replacement will pick up where he's leaving off, and that future inspector generals will have an employment contract that makes them independent from the mayor. "I was totally independent," he says. "I didn't know anybody in this city, and I thought that was a good thing."

Asked if Green would be given an employment contract extending beyond Dixon's mayoral term (which ends next November), McCarthy says that's "doubtful."

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