The Northern Kentucky Water District is being investigated by the Kenton County’s Sheriff’s Office after it was discovered that no criminal charges had been filed against a long-time administrative assistant who admitted to using the utility’s fuel card to fill up her own personal vehicle for seven years, according to Cincinnati.com.
Debbie Kircher, an 11-year employee, resigned Nov. 22, 2013 after admitting that she had charged $13,947.83 over a seven-year period. Kircher, who had access to some of the vehicles in the utility’s 100-unit fleet as well as the assigned fuel cards, came up as a suspect after another employee discovered one of the cards was missing. She confessed, according to Cincinnati.com, when confronted during an internal investigation and reportedly reimbursed the utility on Dec. 30, 2013.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders told Cincinnati.com that someone who steals more than $10,000 from an employer is generally charged with felony theft, punishable by five to 10 years in prison.
The water district is not the only utility left a victim of theft by one of its own employees.
Sarpy County, Neb. implemented new fleet services department policies designed to prevent fuel theft after its former fleet manager Patrick Clarke plead guilty last March to stealing more than $1,600 worth of fuel and tools. In October, an employee of Orange County, Fla., was also caught stealing more than $6,300 in gasoline.
In addition to internal theft, fleets also have to worry about outside thieves. According to Automotive Fleet, trucks parked overnight are often found the next day with holes in the fuel tanks to steal the drained fuel. Last year, fuel was cited as the No. 1 operating expense of fleets across the country.
For tips on how to help prevent your fleet from theft, as well as how to save on fuel, check out the articles below:
Protecting a Fleet from Criminals
Conventional Fuel Management Strategies That Work
Proven Strategies to Reduce Fuel Spend
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