BALTIMORE (WMAR) -
The Baltimore City Fire Department is investigating a case involving a former employee who they say continued to received City salary and benefits after leaving his employment with the Fire Department.
The case is also being investigated by the City Department of Human Resources and the Office of the Inspector General.
The employee in question served in the Fire Department until they accepted full-time employment with the Maryland Army National Guard in 2004.
Officials say since September 11, 2001, the City has maintained a policy designated to protect employees who are also members of the military from experiencing financial hardship due to deployments under certain operations such as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
While the state law also provides protection for members of the Maryland National Guard called to serve under the authority of the Governor, it does not appear that the former employee was qualified to continue to receive their City salary under the policy and may have mislead the Fire Department with respect to the nature of his service with the National Guard.
As a result of the investigation investigators have made a number of immediate adjustments to military leave procedures. For example, the City has added additional layer of oversight to the review of applications for deployed employees who apply for continued benefits.
The City's Department of Law has also filed an action to recover all improper payments in the Baltimore County Circuit Court.
Also, a new policy has been drafted to provide greater clarity with respect to the administration of military leave, particularly in the area of paid leave and benefits.
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