Montgomery County Council Employee Accused of Misusing Over $19,000 in Funds

A Montgomery County Council employee is accused of misusing over $19,000 in funds, including over $11,000 through the county’s ACTIVEMontgomery website, according to the Montgomery County Office of the Inspector General.  WTOP reports that the employee has been placed on administrative leave. Montgomery County Inspector General Davey Limarzi sent the following memorandum of investigation to County Council Executive Director Marlene Michaelson:
“The Montgomery County Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently concluded an investigation into allegations that a Montgomery County Council staff member inappropriately charged $11,490 worth of reservations for county athletic fields to the council’s ActiveMONTGOMERY account.

ActiveMONTGOMERY is the registration and reservation system used to request permits, register for activities, reserve public spaces, and pay online for various classes, camps, and facility rentals throughout the county. While many athletic fields can be reserved online through ActiveMONTGOMER Y, synthetic turf fields can only be reserved by direct communication with a Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF) or Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission – Montgomery Parks (Parks) employee. Once a synthetic turf field reservation has been processed by a CUPF or Parks employee, the reservation and permit are listed under the applicable ActiveMONTGOMERY account.

The investigation revealed that in 2022 and 2023, the subject employee intentionally misled staff from CUPF and Parks to believe they were requesting reservations for athletic fields on the Council’s behalf when in fact they were doing so for the benefit of their spouse. In total, field use permits in the amount of $19,190 ($11,490 of which was reserved under the council’s ActiveMONTGOMERY account) were obtained by the employee and never paid for. Attempts by Parks staff to obtain outstanding payments were ignored, and at times the employee made reference to their position at the County Council. During the investigation, the employee also intentionally made false statements to OIG investigators in an effort to conceal their misconduct.

The OlG investigation substantiated several violations of county policy, law and regulations including abuse of prestige of office, misappropriation, false statements during the course of an investigation, and misconduct by a public employee. I am referring this matter to you for appropriate action to address the employee’s misconduct. A separate referral has been made to the county’s Ethics Commission and the results of our investigation have been referred to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. Please contact me with any questions.”

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