March 14, 1996
Although the fire department's employees take time to make sure fire engines are always clean and shiny, Capt. Roman Clark spent $63 for three car washes at the commercial WashWorks Car Wash on N. Howard St.
Spokesman Ian T. Brennan said Clark, aide to the chief, took a city-issued Ford Expedition to WashWorks "when the city's facility may have been closed or not operating." Brennan added that the department is "changing its policy to prohibit the use [of] commercial facilities."
Meanwhile, some purchases that look odd turn out to have an entirely valid explanation. Last November, for example, a member of the Fire Department spent more than $1,400 at a Walmart in Western Maryland, buying sleeping bags, gloves, hats and items labeled "hunting gear" on the receipt. He also bought a printer.
Brennan said the supplies were provided to the department's urban search and rescue team, which traveled to Garrett County to help remove snow and debris after the remnants of Hurricane Sandy dumped around two feet of heavy wet snow. The city has requested federal reimbursement.