Monday, September 19, 2011

Take Home Vehicles Just the Tip of the Iceberg?


It sounds like the $1 million spent on late-model, take-home vehicles by Metro during a budget crisis is just the tip of the iceberg.

Fraud and abuse, as reported in a recent Examiner article is rampant, according to several current and former Metro employees.

Said one Metro employee:
One should double, if not triple, the list of Metro vehicles being used dubiously.

I can tell you for sure that there are also plenty of other vehicles taken away from work crews by upper and mid-level managers.

There is one [manager] that comes and takes a car from our crew almost every day. That car is not covered by any of the recent articles on take-home vehicles.

He brings it back with an empty gas tank, and we have to pull someone [from our crew] to go fill it.
Another former employee said one Metro worker often used a Metro vehicle to go on fishing trips--while on duty.

That same employees said the Metro Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has known about this kind of abuse for a long time, but has done nothing about it.

Said another employee in a recent comment:
Metro also has a way to make sure all the superintendents work at a shop that is as far away from their home as possible. Then they get Metro vehicles "for emergencies." Now, the only real emergency I can think of is a snow emergency. Even then, some superintendents will not get into work. And yes, Metro pays for the gas and insurance. And NO Metro employee can use the vehicle other than the superintendent.

When Richard White was in charge, they had an employee every day take the vehicle to fill it with gas and wash it.EVERY DAY! And Richard White lived less than 10 miles away!
Another former employee said that even superintendents' cars are sitting idly, they can't be used, for example, to haul parts where needed, holding up repairs throughout the system.

Finally, yet another Metro employee confirmed the above and added "if you think the list of take-home vehicles is complete, you're crazy. They might not be officially 'take home,' but they are used for personal business all the time, including being taken home."

Other items:
Can McDonnell appoint Metro Board member? (Examiner)
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