Non-Confidence: Why Joan Pratt can’t be Trusted with Oversight

While I will give credit to Comptroller Pratt for personally calling me to provide me the details of Frank M. Conaway, Jr’s resignation from his mail room job, my admiration for her immediately ends there.

I have, as I write this, submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Comptroller as well as Baltimore City Office of the Inspector General in order to ensure timely compliance and production of all requested records.  A copy of the FOIA request is attached to the post with my personal contact information redacted.

My concern with how this investigation and subsequent outcome was handled stems from several different issues, the first of which is the simplicity of the investigation involved.

This investigation should have taken all of 48 hours at most.  To verify whether or not these videos were taken within the mail room would have taken significantly less than that.  Whether or not they were created using city equipment or on city time would take slightly longer.  Considering the metadata analysis I performed previously, while I cannot confirm they were *recorded* during City time, it is abundantly clear at least one video was published during city time.  This is why I am FOIAing the details of the investigation — there is significant public interest into how Ms. Pratt conducted this investigation and drew the conclusions that were released.  Given the body of evidence I have discovered without access to 1) Mr. Conaway himself and 2) city offices, it appears malfeasance did occur with respect to City time.

The second concern I have is with Comptroller Pratt’s on-the-record statements to the Baltimore Sun regarding Mr. Conaway:

Pratt said he was a “good employee” and the videos were the only instance she knew of where he had behaved in a questionable manner. “I’m sorry to see him go,” she said.

Considering the original Baltimore Sun piece contains the following:

Conaway declined to say where he filmed the videos, but said it was not “a professional environment” and not the City Hall mail room.

We now know that both of these statements are, in fact, absolute lies.  So we have the Comptroller who presumably was made aware of such false statements made to the media in the course of her investigation, who then ultimately allows Mr. Conaway to resign rather than be fired, and in the process effectively praises him, while suppressing all of this until Mr. Conaway’s re-election bid was finished and in the bag.

That absolutely reeks of corruption.

Not to mention, we have a Delegate representing our district who has demonstrably lied to the media and public regarding his behavior.  This must absolutely be considered an ethics violation and I urge any sitting delegates to begin expulsion proceedings of Frank M. Conaway, Jr. from the Maryland House of Delegates on these grounds.

So, in the course of exposing the tale of Mr. Conaway, this story now expands into the tale of Comptroller Joan Pratt and the blatant corruption of Baltimore City politicians and the steps they will take to protect their own while shafting the rest of us and turning a blind-eye to malfeasance and fraud perpetrated by officials at nearly every level of government.

I will continue to use any and all resources at my disposal to expose corruption, graft, fraud, dishonesty, and stupidity at absolutely every level of the Baltimore City government.  Information is my weapon, an honest and transparent government is my goal.

While I have never been particularly politically active in the past, this has pushed me to action and I hope others join me and Adam Meister in this endeavor to save The Greatest City in America from the political class that actively undermines it.

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