City of Memphis Employees Allegedly Steal Gas

Gas up

Employees who work for the City of Memphis are using taxpayer money to fill up their personal vehicles with gasoline, according to that city’s CBS affiliate WREG.

No word yet on whether Tennessee’s fuel tax increase drove those city employees to do this.

City officials, the station went on to say, have launched an internal investigation.

“According to that investigation, the city doesn’t do a good enough job of tracking who’s getting gas and where it’s going. That’s largely because some fuel stations don’t have an effective way of doing it,” WREG reported.

“Two city employees have been fired for filling up their personal cars with city gas, purchased with taxpayer dollars. Security at city-owned pumps varies. Some are padlocked, requiring a special key. Others are automated, unlocked using electronic key fobs.”

The audit, the station went on to say, says those pumps track gas usage easily. The others, however, typically require manual logs that don’t always exist.

“The issue increases the potential for fraud. The city’s General Services Division says it’ll fix the problem by putting devices to unlock pumps directly into city vehicles,” WREG reported.

“They’re designed to track who’s driving, how much gas they’re getting and when they’re getting it. The city is updating its written policies on gas use, too.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last summer, gasoline prices at the time were near $3 a gallon.

“As those prices rise Tennessee voter opposition to the fuel tax increase included in the IMPROVE Act is increasing as well. Despite the state having two billion dollars in surplus and recurring revenues, Governor Bill Haslam and Republican legislative leadership jammed through a $330 million a year fuel tax increase last year, which is phased in over three years.  The latest phased increase went into effect on July 1,” The Star reported.

A new Star statewide poll of 1,040 likely Republican Primary voters conducted by Triton Polling from June 25-28, 2018 indicated voters did not support the fuel tax increase.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]




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