The mayor of a Maryland city is being accused for allegedly misusing city funds.
Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant, who is already under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct, is preparing for another run in September after 16 years in office.
“There is nobody better than me, saving Jesus Christ, and he's not on the ballot,” Grant said.
An 11-page report questioning how he's spent taxpayer dollars is going to elected officials in Prince George's County and the state.
“The more we looked at one thing, other things were popping up,” said Rev. John Walker, an attorney.
Walker leads a group of citizens hosting weekly Zoom meetings discussing the report. For three years they've been compiling financial documents and investigating the mayor.
“I believe he needs to be checked,” Walker said.
The group questions contracts awarded without bids, trips around the country and internationally, and the high turnover of city employees. A few weeks ago, more than a dozen workers were furloughed without warning.
Walker said the financial outlook is not good.
“The city is broke, and it’s on the verge of insolvency,” he said.
The questions follow the mayor's decision to step aside as the council investigates accusations that he sexually harassed and fired a former employee.
“Since that happened, city government has not really been available,” Walker said. “Made several calls, get no answers. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until Friday past that I learned where city hall is located.”
City hall is under construction. Grant said he stopped renting the temporary trailers that housed city hall and has moved his office outside city limits to Landover.
He said he is under attack by outsiders who want to develop Seat Pleasant and are using the election.
He's facing one challenger, another former city employee.
“I will not sit idly by and allow an attempt to take over our city and gentrify our city,” he said.
He said he expects to win again. While he would not comment on the sexual misconduct allegations, he said he's done nothing wrong.
“They are voting for a mayor not a messiah,” he said. “I am a person who has faults and flaws like anybody else, but one thing that will not be questioned is my commitment to the people of Seat Pleasant.”
A spokesperson with the Prince George’s County executive’s office said they received similar complaints about Seat Pleasant's finances in the spring and the county's attorney's sent that to the Maryland state attorney's office for formal review.
Grant said most of his travel promoting Seat Pleasant as a smart city was reimbursed.
His opponent in the upcoming election claims she was fired from the city's government after announcing her run for mayor. Grant denies her claim.