The Prince George’s County liquor board, which officials promised to overhaul after a federal corruption investigation in 2017, did not properly vet or inspect licensees and failed to adequately respond to complaints, a state audit found.
The board, whose former director admitted that he facilitated thousands of dollars in payouts to elected officials in a wide-ranging bribery scandal, did not confirm that licensees had paid county taxes, document whether they had conducted required criminal background checks or inspect of all its licensees, the audit found. Of the 50 inspections that auditors reviewed, half were not properly completed.
Auditors examined the activities of the board in fiscal 2017, plus a few additional months.
“The finding provided essential insight into the operating deficiencies of the agency,” Terence Sheppard, the liquor board’s director, wrote in a letter responding to the audit.
He said the board is committed to “addressing all aspects of the audit” and has developed an action plan to improve accountability and transparency. That plan addresses each concern listed in the audit, which Sheppard wrote he anticipates will be corrected by Aug. 1.