Fuel Management

Atlanta City Worker Accused of Stealing Gasoline

July 22, 2010

ATLANTA - An Atlanta Public Works employee is under criminal investigation after the city accused him of stealing gasoline from city gas pumps, according to Channel 2 Action News.

The city's internal investigative files show that a loophole in city policy makes the theft very hard to track.

According to the investigative records, someone observed motor transport services employee Jackie Bernard Little "stealing fuel" around 11 p.m. on May 20. The city investigated and based on "substantial evidence," fired Little for "abuse or theft of city property." He wrote a letter of apology begging to keep his job. He had worked for the city since 1999.

Records show Little admitted committing the offense and stated he was in "severe financial difficulty." When asked if he was using the fuel for financial gain, the city said that would be part of the criminal investigation. The city would not say whether Little was seen pumping the gas into vehicles or gas cans, and investigators still don't know how many gallons were stolen. It only tracks gas usage for employees with assigned city vehicles. Little was not assigned a vehicle, but he did have access to a master key.

The city is now conducting an internal audit of gas usage to try to determine how much gas was pumped using that master key. Then they will match it with each employee who had access to that key.

In a written statement, a public works spokesperson said the city does not tolerate inappropriate behavior from its employees. The case has also been forwarded to the district attorney's office of public integrity for possible criminal charges.

The city of Atlanta's motor transport services yard is clearly marked for authorized personnel only. Signs tell visitors that the whole area is under 24 hour video surveillance. Overnight, even city employees have to stop at the guard-staffed security gate and sign in to fill up their city vehicles, according to Channel 2 Action News.

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