- Beginning in 2001, Tamara Oliver Washington, 55, started accepting bribes from small trash haulers to waive their tipping fees at the Quarantine Road Landfill. Over time, she and other Baltimore Department of Public Works employees also began accepting $100 cash bribes from commercial haulers to waive their deposit fee of $67.50 per ton of trash. The exchanges saved the haulers' businesses thousands of dollars each month, which, in turn, cost the city.
- The conspiracy lasted for 14 years as Washington and other DPW made efforts to conceal the deals being made. This was done by neglecting to record transactions and handing truck drivers fake receipts to maintain the illusion that the truck was properly weighed and charged.
- The city of Baltimore lost more than $6 million in revenue that would have been paid by haulers, according to a US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland press release. Washington has agreed to pay this money back to the city.
Aside from undermining the Department of Public Works as an institution, the scheme has had an effect on the residents of Baltimore as well. “Corrupt public employees rip off the taxpayers and undermine everyone’s faith in government,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said of the Baltimore case.
In May, five other Baltimore City public works employees were charged with crimes related to landfill operations around the city, after a 2-year FBI probe of those landfills uncovered many criminal offenses. Those crimes included accepting bribes and stealing scrap metal — one employee allegedly stole and sold about $400,000 worth of scrap metal from city landfills.