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Four DPW employees arrested for fuel theft

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 12:45pm

Four DPW employees were arrested Tuesday morning by Baton Rouge City Police for allegedly stealing gasoline from City-Parish fueling stations.

Those arrested as the result of an internal investigation were Ensley Joseph, Rodney Maxwell, Joyce Gatlin, and Lawrence Smith.

Joseph initially came under scrutiny several months ago after he was observed filling up a five-gallon gas can several times when fueling up a City-Parish vehicle.

“We looked at his fuel reports, and something wasn’t right,” Interim Public Works Director David Guillory said.

When DPW officials questioned Joseph about the need for the extra fuel, he claimed that the vehicle was getting extremely low gas mileage.

The vehicle was swapped out for another truck that had been checked and found to have acceptable gas mileage, but Joseph continued to fuel up the extra containers while refueling the vehicle.

During the investigation, a Global Positioning System (GPS) was installed and tracked Joseph’s movement. The results showed he was not working some of the time that he claimed on his timesheets.

In addition to the gasoline theft, Joseph was charged with payroll fraud.

The investigation into Joseph’s use of fuel triggered additional checks that turned up similar problems by Smith, Maxwell and Gatlin, who were caught also filling up gas cans regularly when they refueled the City-Parish vehicle.

All four employees were arrested this morning, and are being processed for termination, Guillory said.

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