Montgomery County, Maryland, has security problems inside its government-controlled liquor warehouse, according to a new Inspector General report following a News4 I-Team investigation into the Department of Liquor Control.
In Montgomery County, every beer you drink, every bottle of wine you buy and every drop of liquor goes through the Department of Liquor Control warehouse. The Inspector General report says the warehouse has security problems.
The report directly references our November investigation, where insiders accused county deliverymen of using a complicated scheme to hide theft by claiming cases were never loaded, or "short on truck," when in reality they were on the truck and being sold by delivery crews under the table for cash.
The IG found in one month alone, 96 percent of trucks had the wrong number of cases, checkers failed to properly inspect trucks when they returned from delivery routes and shorts were “not tracked, communicated to staff, or regularly investigated to determine the accuracy or cause.”
The report also says, even before the I-Team story aired, managers were told "security cameras functioned improperly" and "staff members regularly used sticks or rocks to prop open perimeter fire doors within the warehouse."
In response, the county told the IG it has already made changes by fixing those cameras, closing doors and changing policy to now better track and prevent shorts. The I-Team reached out to the agency’s director for comment Thursday evening but hasn’t heard back yet.
The report also said since the investigation aired, "several employees left their positions." News4 independently confirmed at least four deliverymen have been fired and another quit.
Also noted in the IG report, problems with a high-ranking manager hiring her husband to cater government events, claiming she "had not realized that to some it may appear that it is a potential conflict of interest." In response, Liquor Control said she had no ownership in the company and didn’t put pressure on anyone to hire him.
After the I-Team investigation aired in November, the Montgomery County Council created an ad hoc committee to investigate DLC and discuss the possibility of dismantling the agency entirely.
That committee is expected to start meeting this month.