A former Department of Public Works employee pled guilty on Thursday to theft in excess of $30,000 by filing fraudulent overtime hours.
Christine Hooper, 46, an employee of the Department of Public Works since 1986, received a one-year suspended sentence, three years of probation and was ordered to repay the city for submitting overtime hours between Sept. 1, 2009 and April 20, 2011 that she did not work, according to a news release from the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office.
On April 11, 2011 public works supervisors notified the Baltimore City Office of the Inspector General of concerns that Hooper, who was working as an administrative officer at the Ashburton Water Treatment Center, was filing falsified overtime and compensatory hours.
During the investigation, it was determined that Hooper had submitted $33,741. 78 for work that she did not do, and was terminated. As a result of Hooper pleading guilty to a count of continuing theft, she was ordered to repay the city $22,824.78 after being given credit for $10,917 worth of unused personal leave, sick leave and vacation time.
"The authorities at the Department of Public Works should be commended for discovering the fraud and cooperating fully with the investigation, which was handled in a thorough and exemplary manner by Inspector General McClintock's Office," State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein, who prosecuted the case, said in a news release. "We remain committed to aggressively prosecuting public employees who betray the trust placed in them by the citizens they serve."