—– By: Ann Costantino —–
District Four Baltimore County Councilman Julian Jones has added information on his latest financial disclosure statement to include a previously undisclosed relationship between Baltimore County government and a moving company with connections to his wife.
Walters Relocations, of which Sabrina Jones is vice president, is a contractor for the county. But on his 2014 through 2017 financial disclosure statements, Jones failed to make that clear.
A month after The Baltimore Post reported on the omission, Jones added new information in his April filing, casting a wide net, now including county agencies which may have contracts with the moving company. Sort of.
Without specifying which ones exactly, Jones now says the company conducts business with “…Possibly Any and or all County Departments, Agencies, boards & Commissions.”
But despite the new admission, Jones has not updated his 2014 through 2017 financial disclosure statements, as confirmed for The Baltimore Post by the county’s law office last week. He also has not answered a single question about the earlier omissions.
Until filing his 2018 financial disclosure statement in April, Jones only mentioned Walters’ connection to the Baltimore County School Board and the Baltimore County Board of Elections. However, the elections board told The Baltimore Post in March that there is no such contract. Instead, the agreement is between the company and Baltimore County government, directly.
When asked, a spokesperson for the elections board said Baltimore County government selected Walters as the moving company to relocate its office one time in February 2017. The county paid the company $13,048.50 for the job, records show.
To date, Walters has received over $172,000 through three staggered master agreements with Baltimore County government, with a combined spending authority of almost $525,000.
Nearly $100,000 of the payments were made after Jones took office in late 2014. But more than half of that money was committed to the company late last year for a singular job.
Records indicate that, in December, the county committed $53,000 to Walters for the relocation of offices to the county’s Drumcastle Government Building in Towson for “New Public Access.”
According to the county law office, the job was specifically “created for the moving services that were needed when we had to move Health staff out of Richard’s building so we could start construction on the new opiod [sic] facility for Baltimore County.”
The Richards building, located in the county’s second district in Owings Mills, is currently undergoing renovations as a drug treatment facility. It is expected to open in November.
Records show that the county has paid for Walters to relocate offices and break down furniture for various offices throughout the county since 2011.
For instance, in 2013, prior to Jones’ 2014 victory, the county paid Walters $23,755 to move the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability 210 feet, from 105 W. Chesapeake Avenue to Room #319 at 111 W. Chesapeake Avenue in Towson.
In 2017, Walters disposed of a pool table from the Dundalk PAL Center for $560 and moved the Eastern Family Resource Center in June 2018 to its new location at the Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center Campus in Rosedale. The cost, $19,543
Last October, as also previously reported by The Baltimore Post, the county also paid the company $488 to move a desk from the office of then-interim County Executive Don Mohler to the private residence of the president of the Valley Planning Council, Peter Fenwick.
Mohler took over as county executive in May 2018 after the sudden death of the county’s previous county executive, Kevin Kamenetz. Johnny Olszewski, Jr. won his seat as the county’s 14th county executive in November.
All three agreements were approved by council members under the Kamenetz administration. Walters is one of two on-call movers and relocation vendors for Baltimore County.
The other company, Hampden Moving and Storage, has had two master agreements with a combined spending authority of $367,090.70. To date, the company has been paid $130,403.81, roughly $100,000 since 2015.
While council meeting minutes show that Jones abstained from voting on a contract for Walters in 2017, the abstention may indicate that Jones was aware of Walters’ direct agreement with the county.
Councilmen Wade Kach and David Marks told The Baltimore Post in March that they were unaware of the company’s connection to Jones when they voted on a third master agreement with the company at the March 2017 meeting.
When The Baltimore Post requested comment from the Olszewski administration in March, press secretary, T.J. Smith, said he “had no comment to add.” Smith echoed the same sentiment on Monday. County Executive Olszewski also has not commented on the matter.
As for the company’s connection to Baltimore County Public Schools, to date, Walters has received over $910,000 in payments – more than $193,000 since Jones took office in December 2014, according to publicly available school system payment records.
Jones did not respond to a request for comment.