MCPS Transportation Employees Enter Guilty Pleas for Misconduct in Office and Theft Scheme

From the Office of the Montgomery County State’s Attorney: Today in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD, before the Honorable Michael McAuliffe, defendant, Todd Michael Watkins, 56, of Jefferson, MD, pleaded guilty to one count of the misdemeanor charge of misconduct in office. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 11th, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.

The defendant, Watkins, was appointed Director of the Montgomery County Public Schools Department of Transportation in 2009. Beginning in at least 2016 and continuing into September 2021, the defendant failed to properly manage the contract for the purchases of school buses and the use of purchasing cards in his department such that Charles Ewald, the Assistant Director of the Department of Transportation, was able to steal over $320,000.

This follows a guilty plea entered by defendant, Charles Ewald, 37, of Knoxville, MD, in the Circuit Court, before Judge McAuliffe, on May 18th, 2023 to charges of felony theft scheme having a value of over $100,000 and misdemeanor misconduct in office. Ewald is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on September 6th, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the theft scheme charge.

“These convictions are the result of a thorough investigation on the part of the Montgomery County Police Department. We thank the detectives for their diligent work in this matter after being alerted to the possibility of fraudulent activity by Montgomery County Public Schools. We will provide further comment in open court at the time of sentencing in September,” said State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

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