Analysis: UMB audit likely fodder for budget hearings

The fallout from an audit this week that found $410,000 in questionable payments to a high-ranking University of Maryland, Baltimore official could very well play out into legislative budget deliberations this year.

Del. John Bohanan, the St. Mary’s County Democrat who heads the House panel that will review UMB’s budget, said the audit brought up some significant issues. He said he thought the institution was taking some steps to remedy them, but lawmakers will look to ensure that there are no repeats.

“We may restrict funding, we may cut funding, [or] we may direct them to shore up some shorfalls,” Bohanan said when asked about the audit.

Legislative audits during the General Assembly session are often released right around the time lawmakers begin to dig into agency budgets, and this one comes while college and university programs are undergoing scrutiny in budget subcommittee this year.

The highest profile of the findings for UMB have to do with the payments, which came on top of the employee’s regular salary and weren’t disclosed to the General Assembly. Check out The Sun and The Gazette for more on the findings. UPDATE: Childs Walker of The Sun reports that the official was former law school dean Karen Rothenberg.

–Andy Rosen

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

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