AG Gansler: Former DJS Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft by State Credit Card
Victor Cullen Center dietary manager purchased tons of
crab legs and shrimp for resale to local restaurants
Baltimore, MD ( July 10, 2013) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that former Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) employee Douglas Allen Fairfax, 42, of Hagerstown, pleaded guilty in Frederick County Circuit Court to one count of Felony Theft. While employed at the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville, Fairfax illegally used a state-issued credit card to purchase more than 15,000 pounds of frozen crab legs and shrimp that were resold to local restaurants. Judge Julie R. Stevenson has scheduled sentencing for July 31.
"When state employees violate the public's expectation that they do their job with integrity, we will prosecute and send the message that such actions will not go unpunished," said Attorney General Gansler. "State-issued credit cards are used by many state workers for the efficient management of their job-related duties and responsibilities, not for personal profit."
The investigation revealed that Fairfax was provided a state-issued credit card to be used in relation to his duties as a dietary manager at the Victor Cullen Center. Between January 2011 and February 2012, Fairfax used that card to purchase more than 15,000 pounds (7.5 tons) of frozen crab legs and shrimp at a cost of more than $94,000 to Maryland taxpayers. Fairfax would then sell the seafood to restaurants and kept the proceeds.
The Victor Cullen Center is a regional secure treatment center, serving up to 48 male youth under order by the courts to receive treatment services in a secure environment. The treatment program serves male youth between the ages of 15 and 18. According to DJS, crab legs are not served at state juvenile facilities and shrimp may be provided only on occasion.
In making the announcement Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Megan Limarzi, Investigator Harry Schulz and Corporal Sha Brown of the Maryland State Police. The case was referred to the Criminal Division of the Office of the Attorney General by the Maryland Office of Legislative Audits and the DJS Office of the Inspector General.