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Press Release

Baltimore Department of Public Works Supervisor Facing Federal Indictment for Using DPW Resources to Install Water, Sewer, and Fire Line Services Without Paying City Fees or Obtaining Permits

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Co-Conspirator Also Facing Federal Extortion Charge

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Ronald Maurice Smith, age 46, of Baltimore, Maryland, on the federal charges of extortion and being a felon in possession of a gun.  A related criminal information was also filed charging Philip Michael Loverde, age 38, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, with extortion.  The indictment and criminal information were both filed on December 18, 2019. 

The federal charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to Smith’s 10-count indictment, from January 2014 to February 2016, Smith, who was a supervisor in the Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ Water and Waste Management Division (DPW), personally enriched himself and others by using Baltimore City employees, equipment, and materials to install new and upgraded water, sewer, and fire line services for private developers and property owners without obtaining the required permits, approvals, and inspections, without paying the Baltimore City fees for water, sewer, and/or fire line service installation permits and traffic control, and without installing water meters while charging lower prices to the private developers and property owners than City-approved, bonded, and licensed utilities contractors would charge.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that Smith used his authority as a DPW supervisor to cause DPW workers, using DPW equipment, to make a street cut to access the public water main, and install a pipe to connect the water main to a location for a water meter vault, and from that location to a private property, all without obtaining the necessary permits.  Smith was paid in cash by the private property owner or developer either because Smith asked for a cash payment or because Smith caused his co-conspirator, licensed plumber Philip Loverde, one of the owners of All Service Plumbing and Drain Cleaning and All Service Plumbing and Heating, to create a false All Services invoice to submit to the private property owner or developer, when in fact, the indictment alleges that Smith and DPW crews performed the work.  According to the indictment, when All Services was paid, Loverde cashed the check and provided the cash to Smith.  

The indictment alleges that to conceal the scheme, Smith caused other DPW employees to create and submit false DPW service requests and work orders.  According to the indictment, Smith caused DPW personnel to place metal plates over the street cuts DPW personnel made to install the new water service and eventually used DPW equipment, personnel, and materials to re-pave where the street cuts and excavation had occurred.  The indictment alleges that Smith received at least $64,000 as a result of the scheme.  

Finally, on February 5, 2016, Smith, who has a previous felony conviction, allegedly illegally possessed a .380-caliber handgun.

If convicted, Smith and Loverde each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for extortion under color of official right.  Smith also faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a gun.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  An initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, has not yet been scheduled for Smith or Loverde.

An indictment or criminal information is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment or criminal information is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce K. McDonald, who is prosecuting these cases.

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Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4854

Updated December 19, 2019

Public Corruption