A Monkey Wrench in the Machine?
Mayor Sheila Dixon’s former campaign manager and contractor for City Hall, Dale G. Clark plead guilty this morning to tax evasion related to computer work his firm Ultimate Network Integration performed for City Hall since 1998.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Dale G. Clark, 45, had provided computer services to City Hall over a six-year period, during which he worked mostly under a contract. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Clark was sentenced to five years of probation and a $5,000 fine for failing to file tax returns from 2002 to 2004.According to Deputy State Prosecutor Thomas M. McDonough, Clark failed to file tax returns from his computer company, Ultimate Network Integration, since 1998. After being questioned last year by state authorities, Clark submitted unsigned and undated copies of Maryland tax returns for tax years 2000 through 2005. In 2002, for example, Clark said his taxable income was $7,044. He later amended the filing to indicate his taxable income was $86,883.
McDonough declined to comment about an investigation into the City Hall bidding process, but the plea agreement in Clark’s case states: “Defendant agrees that he will cooperate fully with [the] state by providing truthful and complete information concerning his duties and activities and those of other employees and contractors of which he has knowledge when as required, including, but not limited to providing truthful and complete testimony concerning his dealings with officials and employees of the City of Baltimore.”
Clark’s attorney James Wiggins suggested that his clients preferential treatment from prosecutors was due to the fact of his relationship with Dixon and City Hall.
“He provided services to the Baltimore City Council; no one has disputed this,” Wiggins said. “There were some things said about the Baltimore City Council and the council president, who is now the mayor, that they may have in some way done something to give Mr. Clark [preferential treatment].
The Sun had previously reported that in 2001, the chief of staff to Dixon then City Council President, Beatrice Tripps had an email exchange with Clark to keep payments below $5,000 so the work would not have to be approved by the Board of Estimates, which surprise, surprise Dixon chaired.
Mayor Dixon’s office had no comment other than, “Dale Clark is a private citizen. This is between him and the state prosecutor.”
It is, for now.
For a complete archive of the Sun’s reporting (34 articles) on the federal and state investigations into City Hall see here.