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Baltimore contractor Holabird agrees to pay $91,000 to resolve claims it bilked the city

Baltimore’s spending panel is scheduled to accept $91,746 to drop claims against an auto repair and maintenance service in Southeast Baltimore that allegedly submitted inflated bills to the city for payment.

Holabird Enterprises of Maryland Inc. has agreed to repay the money and accept the return of five unused snowplows. In exchange, the city and company will drop lawsuits against each other, according to a Board of Estimates agenda.

The board is scheduled to consider Wednesday the settlement offer from Holabird and its principals, Lawrence Ward and Daniel Foy. The agreement would also bar the company from any city contract for five years.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Ward declined to comment.

The claims against Holabird surfaced last July in a report by the Baltimore Inspector General, who found the Fleet Management Division of the Department of General Services mismanaged contracts and overpaid for services. Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming said Holabird overcharged for snowplows and service work to city vehicles.

Cumming issued a second report two months later that found another company, Baltimore’s primary tow operator, was also overcharging the city. She wrote that city employees had rubber-stamped the inflated bills for years.

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