December 11, 2023
Annapolis, US 39 F

Auditor: County plowed private roads in Gibson Island during recent storm

InvestigationCiting an “overzealous” employee who wanted to ensure that “the County Executive was dug out,” plows from a contracted snow removal company were sent to the private Gibson Island community on January 22, 2016 to plow for more than three hours.

In a letter sent to County Executive Steve Schuh and all Councilmen obtained by Eye On Annapolis, Teresa Sutherland, the outgoing County Auditor detailed the allegations and the reaction received when she attempted to investigate the allegations improper use of county resources.  Sutherland’s last day on the job is tomorrow.

The auditor received an anonymous tip about the plowing and attempted to contact Chris Phipps, the Director of Public Works and Greg Africa, the Deputy Director of Highways to investigate.

After a meeting, not a lot was determined because the two, on advice from the County Attorney elected not to cooperate without a subpoena and said they were not comfortable talking to her independently because they did not want any “inconsistencies in what was said.” The Auditor prepared the subpoenas and the County Attorney advised that they were not valid, nor were needed as a meeting was arranged with the two individuals and the County Executive at 9am on February 16, 2016.

While Mr. Africa was able to confirm that an overzealous employee was responsible, he stated that no member of the Administration requested the plowing. However, later during the limited interaction with with Sutherland, he stated he did not know who the employee was. Sutherland commented that it was inconsistent that he knows it was an employee and not at the request of the administration; yet also claims to not know the identity of the specific employee.

This story will be updated when more information is available.

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