WARREN (WWJ) – Four city employees of Warren are under investigation on allegations of stealing thousands of dollars in city-owned property, including a heavy-duty toilet, a dog run and a vinyl picket fence.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said the workers, who were part of the Forestry-Park Maintenance Division, were place on paid administrative leave on March 27.
After an annual inventory check found discrepancies were between purchases made in 2011 and equipment in the city’s possession, the police were contacted and an investigation began. The city told police that there were only four employees who were authorized to use the city’s Home Depot cards.
Fouts said search warrants executed on the employees’ homes resulted in a significant amount of property and tools being recovered, some which were still in their original boxes.
Fouts said the investigation “certainly suggests that the property was being inappropriately converted to the individuals’ use.” He said some of the equipment purchased had little or no use in the Forestry-Park Maintenance Division’s function but was more for home use.
The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has been presented with police findings and is awaiting a further inventory of the equipment and a determination of a monetary value to assess appropriate charges.
Fouts said he is “totally disgusted” by the betrayal of public trust.