Baltimore City Department of Transportation Supervisor Charged With Taking Thousands In Bribes
After receiving bribe payments that were thrown into his Baltimore City issued vehicle Defendant Wade boasted that that the source of the bribes was, “good for life with me . . .” and later laughed and stated, “we in cahoots now . . . .”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – The United States Attorney’s Office has charged Daryl Christopher Wade, age 50, of Rosedale, Maryland, today on charges related to an extortion scheme.
The charges were announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Acting Inspector General Stephen J. Lesniewski Jr. of the Baltimore City Office of Inspector General.
Wade has been a City of Baltimore employee since 1988 and is currently employed by the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (“DOT”) as a Construction Project Supervisor II within the DOT’s Street Cut Unit. The DOT Street Cut Unit helps to monitor and administer fines associated with street cuts and street cut permits. According to the criminal complaint, Wade used his official position at City of Baltimore’s Department of Transportation to claim that he could void street cut fines in return for payments.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Wade accepted multiple cash payments, from a confidential human source (“CHS2”) in exchange for claiming that he could erasing his street cut fines. Baltimore City street cut permits are required for companies who need to impede into a public street, alley, sidewalk, or other right-of-way for purposes of construction. The street cut permits are valid for 120 days before they expire and a fine is assessed by DOT at $50 per day for each street cut not repaired past the expiration date.
In March 2016, the criminal complaint alleges that an individual with the initials J.S., an owner of a Maryland construction and utilities company, was involved in attempting to broker bribe payments to Wade from the Vice President of a Virginia based construction company (“CHS1”). CHS1’s company required street cuts within the City of Baltimore. CHS1’s company provides all phases of underground utility construction and sewer rehabilitation throughout the east coast of United States. At the time of J.S. and Wade’s attempt to broker bribe payments from CHS1’s company it had approximately $55 million in contracts with the City of Baltimore to restore and/or replace water and sewage lines throughout the City. In November 2015 and February 2016, the Virginia company was also awarded approximately $36 million in contracts with the City of Baltimore to conduct sewer and waterline overhauls, including street cuts. In order to complete those contracts, CHS1’s company conducted street cuts to reach water and sewer lines.
In January 2016, J.S. told CHS1 that CHS1’s company would be receiving $1.3 million in street cut fines from DOT in the near future. J.S. then said he had a connection that could reduce the $1.3 million in fines by 80% to $260,000, if CHS1 paid 20%, ($52,000) to J.S.’s connection. This offer was rejected by the Virginia based company.
The complaint also alleges that a second confidential human source (“CHS2”), who runs a plumbing and drain construction business in Baltimore, Maryland was previously fined approximately $17,000 for street cuts in Baltimore City. In March 2016, CHS2 attended a Baltimore City street cut appeal hearing regarding the fine. In attendance at the hearing were CHS2 and Baltimore City employees including Wade. During the hearing, CHS2 explained to the attendees, that he was not responsible for acquiring permits for the work site and therefore should not be held liable for the fines. Wade stopped the hearing, stating that he had heard enough and that the fines determination was on hold pending further review. Wade then requested to speak with CHS2 outside the hearing. Once outside the hearing, Wade explained to CHS2 that if CHS2 helped Wade that he would help CHS2.
On or about September 19, 2016, at the direction of law enforcement, CHS2 participated in a recorded telephone conversation with Wade, where CHS2 explained that he did not have money to pay the $17,000 fine. Following this call, Wade met in-person with CHS2 and asked CHS2 “what is it worth to you?” CHS2 understood that this meant that if he (CHS2) paid Wade, Wade would void the $17,000 fine. CHS2 stated, it would be worth $5,000 for him to pay Wade to remove the fine. Wade explained that he had to also pay a female at the office to push the fine reduction paperwork through but accepted the $5,000 offer. Wade told CHS2 that after making the $5,000 payment, CHS2 would not have to worry about any future fines.
On September 22, 2016, CHS2 paid Wade the first $3,000 in cash. Wade arrived at the meeting driving a Baltimore City issued government vehicle. At the direction of Wade, CHS2 threw the $3,000 into Wade’s Baltimore City government vehicle. After the money was in his Baltimore City government vehicle, Wade stated “you good for life with me . . . .” and later laughed and further stated to CHS2, “we in cahoots now . . . . ”
On or about September 28, 2016, CHS2 paid Wade the remaining $2,000 in cash, and that same day a $17,000 journal entry was posted to the Baltimore City Dynamics accounting system voiding the $17,000 in street cut fines for CHS2’s construction site. The entry was made by a female Baltimore City employee and Baltimore City records indicate that the female employee is an accountant working at the Baltimore Bureau of Accounting and Payroll Services.
A complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Wade’s initial appearance is scheduled for today at 2:30 p.m. in United States District Court in Baltimore, Maryland in courtroom 3A.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI and Baltimore City Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phil Selden and Leo Wise, who are prosecuting the case.