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Report: Health Department Wasted $170K On Gifts, Travel

BALTIMORE (AP) -- An investigative report by the Baltimore city Office of the Inspector General says the city's health department wasted $170,000 on unused promotional goods, excessive manager travel, snacks and staff gifts.

The Baltimore Sun reports the report released Wednesday focuses on the department's Office of Chronic Disease Prevention, which fights illnesses such as lead poisoning and asthma. The report says the department raised the money by fining landlords for lead paint violations and charging attorneys for records in lead lawsuits.

It says it also found that the department overcharged for those records despite repeated warnings by city lawyers. Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming says some department officials believed the money to be private funds. The department says it takes "serious issue" with the waste classification.

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