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Mobtown Beat

Fraudster Hired by Mayor’s Office Goes to Prison

Renita Franklin-Thrower, who until June worked at the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) as a green-jobs facilitator earning $41,000 a year, on Sept. 19 was sentenced to nine months in federal prison after a judge revoked her supervised release in an embezzlement case. The sentence was handed down after Franklin-Thrower, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to stealing nearly $30,000 from her employer at the time, the American Red Cross, repeatedly failed to appear in court this year for violation-of-release proceedings in the case.

Franklin-Thrower was hired by the city in 2011, 14 months after she’d finished serving her first, eight-month prison term in the case—which started only after she’d been a fugitive for a year. While working for the city, on open warrant for a Charles County theft-scheme charge against her ultimately led to her pleading guilty earlier this year and receiving a suspended sentence and probation.

Franklin-Thrower told City Paper that “I got the job with MOED by being honest about my past history.” But her federal prosecutor, David A. Last, wrote in court documents that the terms of her release were violated, in part, by her “failure to notify her employer regarding the offense of conviction.” The city, meanwhile, has not shed light on whether it knew Franklin-Thrower was a fraudster when she was hired but has said that her job “did not include any fiduciary responsibilities.”

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