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Audit: Inappropriate charges made to state cards

ANNAPOLIS — An audit has found that four Maryland workers used state-issued credit cards to buy $255,000 of inappropriate items in recent years.

The Department of Legislative Services audit found questionable purchases by at least four cardholders. The workers were prosecuted and some supervisors also faced repercussions.

The audit looked at purchases from 2009 to 2012, including 1.5 million transactions totaling $521 million. The problems the audit found include a health department employee who charged $45,640 for items including guitars, guitar accessories, watches, knives, toys and “men’s vitamins,” while indicating the purchases were ink cartridges and software.

Legislative Auditor Thomas Barnickel says there are policies and procedures in place to ensure cards are used appropriately, but not everyone follows them and they aren’t foolproof.