A supervisor in the Baltimore Department of Transportation was charged over an alleged extortion plot involving fines connected to obscure permits required to dig into city streets by federal authorities.
Daryl Christopher Wade, the supervisor is accused of taking $5,000 from an FBI informant in exchange for spreading out $17,000 in fines the company of informant had experienced.
According to court documents after receiving the payment Wade said: “We in cahoots now”.
The criminal complaint filed against Wade describes misconduct by others, who are not acknowledged yet, and a spokeswoman for the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office said the investigation is going on.
Meanwhile, city officials told they would start an audit to uncover how widespread the problems might have been.
Daryl Wade has worked for the city starting from 1988 and made $69,000 in 2016. In July he was promoted, despite being under inquiry by the FBI.
On Wednesday afternoon Wade made a brief appearance in court. He didn’t enter a plea and a federal magistrate agreed to release him during the case proceeds.
Wade’s attorney Warren Brown, said he still was reviewing the charges but that the claims seemed small scale compared to most cases that land in federal court.
Brown said: “I was surprised this ended up over here.”
According to the criminal complaint filed against Wade, the FBI began the investigation in March 2016. The court papers say agents learned of claims involving coercion by more than one Transportation Department employee. In addition, a female employee in the city’s accounting office helped Wade wipe out the $17,000 in fines, according to the complaint. Davis also did not know her current employment status.
Wade’s position gave him authority over “street cut” permits, which construction crews need to dig into the city’s streets to access underground infrastructure. The permits last 120 days and if the work is not properly completed within that time, the crews face $50 a day in fines.