CLEARWATER, FL – A recent audit has accused Pinellas County, Fla., workers of abusing car privileges, and government fuel stations of giving free gas to strangers, according to the Web site www.foxtampabay.com. The Pinellas Clerk of Circuit Court’s Auditing division is accusing its own county of wasting at least a $100,000 over the past three years.

Auditors checked the mileage on Pinellas County’s 10 take-home cars. They tied 77 percent of the miles to personal use, rather than county business. The auditors also found free gas at the county’s pumping stations.

An undercover auditor put government gas in his personal car at 15 different county fuel stations. The agent even left his name and phone number on the log sheet, but said no one ever called to question him.

The audit also flagged 25 unmarked county vehicles.

By September, the county will add a $1 million dollar code and sensor system to all pumps and cars to ensure the pumps will only work with county cars. There are no current plans to change the policy on unmarked vehicles and take-home cars, according to the www.foxtampabay.com.

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