City security equipment removed from Sheila Dixon's home
City-owned security equipment worth $12,000 was removed from former Mayor Sheila Dixon's home last fall,after Baltimore police made several attempts to reclaim the equipment, the city's inspector general announced Wednesday.
Inspector General David McClintock said he received a tip in September that the security cameras remained at Dixon's home in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood of Hunting Ridge and that police had previously attempted to get the equipment back. Police removed the cameras in November, he said.
Reached by phone, Dixon said she had no desire to keep the equipment, and that she would have given it back sooner if she could have disconnected it herself.
"You know the city-- how slow they are," said Dixon. "I couldn't take it down myself."
She said that a police officer who had formerly been assigned to guard her first contacted her about getting back the equipment in August or September, months after she left office.
"It was a matter of coordinating between the police department and some of my former staff," she said.
Dixon, who was in New York for her daughter's college graduation, questioned why the inspector general's office was announcing the removal the equipment six months after it occurred.
McClintock said that his office recently completed an administrative review of the policy for reclaiming equipment from former city officials. Receiving the equipment from Dixon was the first part of that effort, he said.
"Police made several efforts to obtain Mayor Dixon’s consent for removal of the equipment but were not successful," according to a news release from his office.
When Martin O'Malley left the mayor's office to become governor, he returned the security equipment that had been installed at his Baltimore home, according to the news release.
"As a result of renewed efforts by the OIG and the Baltimore City Police, the equipment from Mayor Dixon’s residence was returned to City custody," the release continues.
Dixon resigned in February 2010 as part of a plea agreement to settle charges of embezzlement and perjury.
Here's the full text of the inspector general's news release:
Security Equipment Removed from Former Mayor Dixon’s Home
The Baltimore City Office of Inspector General (hereinafter “OIG”) received information in August of 2010 that former Mayor Sheila Dixon (hereinafter “Mayor Dixon”) was still in possession of valuable City-owned security equipment.
Initially, the OIG determined that past practice had been for the equipment to be returned to City custody upon separation from office. Working through the Baltimore City Police Department, the OIG learned that shortly after Former Mayor Martin O’Malley was elected as Governor the City owned security equipment that had been installed in his home had been returned.
Beginning shortly after Mayor Dixon resigned her position in February of 2010, the Baltimore City Police made several efforts to obtain Mayor Dixon’s consent for removal of the equipment but were not successful. As a result of renewed efforts by the OIG and the Baltimore City Police, the equipment from Mayor Dixon’s residence was returned to City custody. The equipment is valued at $12,000.00.