January 15, 2021: Correctional Officers and State Employee Charged with Theft and Bribery
Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton Howard announced today that a Baltimore County grand jury has indicted two State Correctional Officers and a State Fiscal Technician with Theft, Conspiracy to Commit Theft, Bribery, and Misconduct.
The indictment alleges that Correctional Officers Okezie Chidume and Gerald Leon Solomon, Jr., conspired with Fiscal Technician Shantil Carter, to alter timecard entries, so that the officers were paid for work they did not perform. A grand jury indicted Correctional Officer Chidume with Theft, Conspiracy, Bribery, and Misconduct in Office; Correctional Officer Solomon for Theft, Conspiracy, and Misconduct in Office; and Fiscal Technician Carter for Theft, Conspiracy, and Bribery.
The charges were the result of a joint investigation by the Office of the State Prosecutor and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). According to the charges, Carter, a DPSC Fiscal Technician I, conspired with other DPSCS employees, in particular Correctional Officers Chidume and Solomon, to inflate their “worked” hours, increasing their respective overall compensation by tens of thousands of dollars. Throughout the course of the scheme, Carter, in her capacity as a Fiscal Technician within DPSCS Finance Service Accounting Payroll and Audit Unit, illegally altered the timecards of the correctional officers, adding hundreds of hours that they did not work, resulting in their being paid for work they did not perform. In exchange for altering the time entries, the Correctional Officers made payments totaling several thousands of dollars to Carter.
Robert Green, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, stated, “Once the theft scheme was discovered by DPSCS, our Intelligence and Investigative Division detectives took immediate action and worked with the State Prosecutor to stop the conspiracy and identify those allegedly responsible.”
“Allegations that public employees have abused positions of trust to enrich themselves at the expense of Maryland taxpayers are extremely serious and require a timely, thorough and professional response,” said Howard. “Our office is committed to investigating and prosecuting where appropriate any allegation of criminal behavior or misconduct by state or local public officials.”
The Office of the State Prosecutor would like to acknowledge the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their collaboration in this effort. All individuals who are charged are presumed to be innocent.
Click HERE for Shantil Carter Indictment
Click HERE for Okezie Chidume Indictment
Click HERE for Gerald Solomon Jr Indictment