Montgomery County council employee used funds for personal use, officials say

The Montgomery County Inspector General concluded an inquiry of misconduct by a County Council employee on Friday.

The IG’s office found the employee booked $11,490 dollars in permits, said they were for council – but they were actually for the employee’s spouse.

The IG sent a notice to the Council, State’s Attorney’s Office, and County Ethics Commission about its findings.

In short, the county council has an account with money for which it can book synthetic turf fields. This investigation found this employee was using that council account to book fields, but instead of using it for council, it was for this employee’s spouse. This was allegedly happening last year and this year.

The name of the employee has not been made public due to it being a personnel matter.

In a statement, Council President Evan Glass says the council takes matters of ethics seriously.

This $11,490 worth of field permits were booked using the council account, but never actually paid for, the investigation found. The report also says there were efforts by Parks to get payment that were ignored, and the IG says the employee also made false statements to investigators "in an effort to conceal their conduct."

The county inspector general is a fact finder, and it’s made the State’s Attorney and Ethics Commission aware of its findings and investigation.

Donald Tobin is a University of Maryland Law School professor with an ethics background in Baltimore City who is not connected with this case.

"The inspector general is saying here, we think two things, we think there’s a possible ethics violation, Ethics commission, and we think there’s a potential crime, and you should look at it, state’s attorney. That’s sort of what’s happened here," Tobin said.

Tobin added the fact that this process is happening should give residents confidence.

"One thing that I think people should be comforted about is it seems like the system is working the way it’s supposed to. The investigator has engaged in an investigation and we have findings from that investigation, and people seem to be taking that seriously and, you know, you’ll continue to find out what happened. We’re always careful not to pre-judge these things, and they’re doing it right," Tobin said.

The State’s Attorney says it’s received the IG’s report and is starting the review process to determine if there was any criminal behavior.