• September 2, 2014

Killeen revamps its fleet services

New leadership, security cameras part of changes since scandal surfaced

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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2013 4:30 am

From the shop foreman to the assistant city manager, management of the once-dysfunctional Killeen Fleet Services Division is full of new faces.

In the past seven months, six employees have been hired, along with two new Killeen executives who will oversee operations of the city motor pool — as well as other city divisions — from City Hall.

During an interview last week, officials said security, ethics and accountability will be priorities for the motor pool plagued last year by a scandal that unveiled a culture of theft and mismanagement.

“We are changing the culture that you are going to see here,” said Executive Director of Support Services Stu McLennan, who was hired in April.

Fleet services is responsible for maintaining the city’s fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles, which includes everything from forklifts to the fire trucks, McLennan said.

“It’s all about giving the citizens of Killeen the best return on their money.”

Shaky wheels

On Sept. 28, Killeen police pulled over fleet services mechanic David Riddle less than one mile from the fleet services barn and recovered a $400 engine. He later admitted to stealing from the city, according to police reports.

The theft sparked a three-month police investigation and audit of the motor pool, revealing mismanagement and a culture of theft that had existed in the division for more than a decade.

Among the missing items, which included tools, oil and vehicle parts, the audit indicated 2,730 gallons of diesel fuel and 48 tires went missing over an eight-year period. The fuel was valued at $7,819.

Overhaul

Fleet services remained under the wing of the Department of Finance until Oct. 1, when Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison reorganized City Hall, placing the motor pool under the new Support Services Department.

On Dec. 12, three fleet services employees lost their jobs, including former division director Kim Randall, who was forced to resign. Since that time five more employees left the division.

In January, Morrison hired Ann Farris as assistant city manager-internal services, a new position that oversees all internal operations in the city, including fleet services.

Over the past four months, McLennan and Farris worked to fill all but one of the vacancies left in the 25-employee division.

Moving on

At least 13 of the employees still working for the city admitted to using city materials and equipment for work on personal vehicles, according to police documents. Some admitted stealing.

All of the employees who did not lose their jobs after the investigation, received written warnings in February about stealing from the barn. No employees faced criminal charges.

Farris said no further discipline will be taken against those employees.

“That’s really enough. Whatever happened in the past is in the past,” she said. “We have new leadership, new expectations. Everybody gets a second chance.”

Coordinating inventories

Many items, including some vehicles, were unaccounted for because inventories had been inadequate or nonexistent, according to the audit performed by City Auditor Amanda Wallace.

Titles of disposed vehicles had not been turned in to the city secretary’s office, Wallace said, during her testimony in April at the employee grievance hearing of one of the fired city mechanics.

McLennan said the city established comprehensive tool and part inventories and preventive maintenance checklists.

The division also is preparing to hold an auction — the first in more than two years.

“We are going to make sure that the property comes into the city and leaves the city in the right way,” McLennan said.

Security cameras

After the Killeen Police Department took over the division in October, the city installed 12 surveillance cameras at the barn and began enforcing a policy of locking the fleet services gates at the end of each day. New Fleet Services Director Frank Tydlacka, who was hired in May, said the managers are able to monitor recorded video feeds, one of which is aimed at the fuel station where all city vehicles refuel.

“It’s not just a security thing but an accountability thing,” he said. “It is a way of checking to make sure the vehicles are getting the right amount of fuel.”

As with the fuel, managers have begun daily monitoring of other bulk fluids, such as motor oil and hydraulic fluid, a practice that was not in place with the previous administration.

“We check to see that the same amount of oil was there at the end of the previous day,” Tydlacka said.

Along with Tydlacka — who will oversee administrative issues for the division — the city hired a new shop foreman, Grant Roach — a Killeen native with 8½ years of experience managing the motor pool at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene.

Roach, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the division, said being new has given him and Tydlacka a chance to review every aspect of the division from the ground up.

“We’re going back and questioning everything,” Roach said.

“We’re turning over every rock and making sure everything is accounted for at all times.”

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6 comments:

  • Eliza posted at 2:44 pm on Sun, Jul 21, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 726

    @ “That’s really enough. Whatever happened in the past is in the past,” she said. “We have new leadership, new expectations. Everybody gets a second chance.”
    -------------------

    I would think those words 'everybody' would indeed include everybody. Why were only certain ones fired and certain ones allowed a 'second chance' ?
    It doesn't make good sense.
    Gonzales was accused of not fulfilling her job description, but some of the people allowed a 'second chance' admitted they stole from their employers, the people of the city . And also has placed them where they have had the added expense of having to buy cameras to make certain, the retainers will keep their promises.

    I believe the ones who have figured out how to come to all of the unfair decisions of who gets to stay, and who gets to go, need cameras on them to watch them at their own job.
    Since it looks like the ones paying all the bills Again, are getting taken advantage of.

    I believe something has been mentioned about pay raises for city workers, Will this include the ones who got the 'second chance' after stealing,and the one/s who are allowing it ?

     
  • el residente posted at 1:46 pm on Sun, Jul 21, 2013.

    el residente Posts: 12

    @nulisecundus: "your Rant has nothing to do with the article, stay on subject if you can!"

    Seriously, the article is all about ethics? Maybe you should use your brain, if you can! Maybe your ID should be "NoLosClue-o's" -

    Please think before you post - so you're not just trying to control other people's posts.

    Sounds like you might be city management - trying to control what people hear. Who needs the Kardashians - when you have City of Killeen's management.

     
  • Max67 posted at 1:34 pm on Sun, Jul 21, 2013.

    Max67 Posts: 63

    “We are changing the culture that you are going to see here,”

    "During an interview last week, officials said security, ethics and accountability will be priorities for the motor pool..."

    “We have new leadership, new expectations. Everybody gets a second chance.”
    ------------------------------------------
    Anyone familiar w/ management and auditing knows that ethics starts at the highest level & trickles down. Unfortunately, the upper layer of management, which has been shown to be the most corrupt and lacking in ethics is still there. (No space to list all of glenn's former girl friends/employees who he paid city tax dollars to keep quiet & other self-serving expenditures of city tax dollars). The things that have come out about them through the whistleblower lawsuit are so bad that they feel the need to try to put a happy face on all this mess. Now we hear that the Asst. City Mgr. carries her own bag of dirt laundry around w/ her as well, likely why she was selected by Glenn.

    She states everyone gets a second chance, but the number of chances the city manager has already has FAR EXCEEDED two.

    The employers who were shown to have committed no wrongdoing & who the personnel hearing board ruled needed to rehired (at Glenn's refusal) were not even given a "first" chance - all because they did the right thing & spoke up about the wrongdoing.

     
  • Max67 posted at 1:33 pm on Sun, Jul 21, 2013.

    Max67 Posts: 63

    In reference to, "All of the employees who did not lose their jobs after the investigation, received written warnings in February..."

    This is not correct. At least one officer who was accused of (and admitted to) stealing city resources, Watts, was only "orally counseled" because he didn't know it was against the rules. If he didn't know that, especially after KPD officially charged a previous manager for doing the same thing, who would've possibly known. The truth is he knew & John Acker, who didn't steal, told on him - so they kept the crooked cop & got rid of the nice, honest guy who has received nothing but compliments for saving city tax dollars in his 14 years of working there.

    As for: “We’re turning over every rock and making sure everything is accounted for at all times.”

    I think Glen is throwing rocks at the pile to cover up as much of his dirt as possible - as fast as he can. Careful turning over those rocks... you might uncover some of his inappropriate and illegal acts. Luckily, Glenn tells him what rocks he can turn over - so that won't happen.

     
  • nulisecundus posted at 1:22 pm on Sun, Jul 21, 2013.

    nulisecundus Posts: 75

    your Rant has nothing to do with the article, stay on subject if you can!

     
  • Randy Johnson posted at 9:28 am on Sun, Jul 21, 2013.

    Randy Johnson Posts: 20

    So Ann Farris says whats in the past, is in the past. So I guess Glenn and his extramarital affairs are nixed. What about Anns affair with the former Deputy Manager Dave Hall? I guess that was in the past too..