Former Tennessee fireplace chief indicted for official misconduct

Former Franklin Fireplace Chief Ronald Garzarek was indicted for official misconduct after a Tennessee investigation discovered he used his city-owned truck to journey 3,350 unaccounted-for miles in 13 enterprise days in early 2020.

Garzarek resigned his put up as of June 16, 2020.

The investigation, performed by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Workplace and launched Monday, discovered Garzarek took his city-owned Chevrolet Tahoe to Alabama and Florida and was working remotely with out permission from his supervisor between Feb. 27, 2020, and March 16, 2020.

“All authorities entities in Tennessee should present oversight once they authorize workers to take residence autos,” Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower mentioned. “This would come with common monitoring of mileage and having clear insurance policies concerning the acceptable use of city-owned belongings.”

Town offers autos for some staff, and the coverage states “a take-home automobile needs to be used primarily for commuting and city-related enterprise.”

Whereas that coverage doesn’t outline the “de minimus” use for private driving, the investigation discovered the three,350 miles used throughout a 13-business day interval to be extreme. Workers have gasoline playing cards to re-fuel for metropolis enterprise, however Garzarek didn’t use the gasoline card throughout that time frame.

“Sure division personnel beneath his supervision turned conscious that he was figuring out of state, however Garzarek led them to imagine that he was licensed to take action,” the comptroller’s report mentioned. “Nevertheless, Garzarek’s supervisor acknowledged he was unaware Garzarek was figuring out of state, and no approval had been given for him to work remotely out of state.”

A proper assembly was scheduled with Garzarek on June 16, 2020, to debate the matter. He resigned that day.

“In a Could 29, 2020, assembly, Garzarek instructed metropolis officers that he had traveled to Alabama after which traveled to Florida in mid-March,” the report revealed. “Garzarek acknowledged that he hung out in Alabama and Florida and got here again to Franklin on one event. In follow-up conversations, Garzarek acknowledged that he might have been again to town inside eight hours of being notified of a ‘main emergency.’ ”

The investigative report additionally discovered a number of division deficiencies led to the problems, together with that metropolis officers failed to make sure compliance with guidelines for city-owned autos and metropolis officers didn’t retain information associated to correct authorization for journey.

“Metropolis officers indicated that when they turned conscious of Garzarek’s absence, they instantly took motion to find out whether or not he had violated metropolis insurance policies,” the report acknowledged. “Metropolis officers acknowledged they’ve corrected these deficiencies.”

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