Okay. So, back in April 2013 the city secretly hired an independent firm, URS, to conduct an audit of its 2012 speed camera system, the results of which have just recently come to light via the Baltimore Sun. Those results show an error rate much higher than was publicly stated — over 10 percent. That’s theoretically 70,000 erroneous tickets – $2.8 million in erroneous fines.
Soon after the results of the audit were seen by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, back in April, the city’s speed camera system was taken offline despite now being run by a new company, a move which Rawlings-Blake’s spokesman says makes it “clear we did take it seriously.“
To counter that claim, we have Rawlings-Blake herself saying yesterday that the document she received from URS showed that “the company was not sufficiently qualified to do a complete review.” She found Xerox’s self-audit — which produced a much lower error rate — more trustworthy. (Just so you know, the city recently rehired the not sufficiently qualified URS for “additional independent monitoring services.”)
But, wait. Then she said she doesn’t even remember when she learned of the URS audit and had never read the whole thing until it was published by the Baltimore Sun.
If you haven’t gone blind from cognitive dissonance yet, there’s more. Rawlings-Blake said yesterday that “incorrect citations” were refunded “every time.” And yet, city officials said no refunds were awarded as a result of the URS audit.