A former city employee who stole, tried to sell city property

Monday, January 23, 2023 Joe Clifton

Investigators from the Austin Metropolis Auditor’s workplace have been fired a report This reveals a former worker of the Communications and Expertise Division who “stole and tried to promote a cell gadget owned by the town in December 2021.” That worker, former IT assist analyst Brian Cox, resigned from Metropolis in April 2022, thus avoiding firing.

In accordance with the report, which was launched final week, CTM workers found the theft after Cox tried to promote the gadget for $1,000 on a web-based market. The submit included a photograph of what gave the impression to be a cell gadget owned by the town. CTM personnel notified the Austin Police Division, who recovered the gadget from Cox.

Cox initially informed police he didn’t have it earlier than ultimately turning the gadget over to APD.

The gadget was described within the report as “a handheld gadget meant for public security personnel. This gadget was one in every of 29 that the producer despatched to the CTM Wi-fi Retailer for area testing by workers, together with Cox.” Though the town examined the gadgets, solely that she did not purchase any ultimately. In accordance with the report, the gadgets have been made obtainable for gratis and the producer clearly didn’t anticipate to return them.

When the audit crew spoke to Cox, he informed them “he had discovered the gadget in one in every of his previous work luggage.” Cox mentioned he determined to submit the gadget on the market on-line fairly than return it, as a result of he didn’t wish to cope with the “headache” of returning it. Cox asserted he didn’t have permission to promote The gadget. He additionally admitted making an attempt to promote the gadget for $1,000 however denied making an attempt to promote every other gadgets from the wi-fi retailer.”

When given the chance to answer the allegations, Cox didn’t deny taking the gadget and apologized for “giving the COA CTM Wi-fi Division motive for this investigation.”

In the midst of the investigation, investigators checked out CTM’s stock information, which initially appeared to point out about $29,000 in lacking stock. Nevertheless, after the employees did some extra analysis, the worth of the lacking stock was decreased to about $11,000. The investigators wrote, “We couldn’t decide whether or not any of the lacking stock was stolen, misplaced, or in use however not correctly accounted for.” Individually, the wi-fi retailer mentioned it couldn’t account for 2 of the identical cell gadgets that Cox tried to promote. “.

In conducting the investigation into the Wi-fi Retailer’s stock, the auditors “discovered a number of examples of poor controls and procedures associated to stock administration. Particularly, the Wi-fi Retailer was not conserving observe of experimental merchandise, such because the gadget Cox tried to promote, in the identical manner that it will usually use bought stock.” “. The auditors additionally discovered what they known as “poor segregation of duties throughout the Wi-fi Retailer. All Wi-fi Retailer workers can obtain shipments, in addition to enter and take away stock from the shop’s stock administration software program. Moreover, as soon as gadgets are faraway from stock, there aren’t any information of which gadgets correctly disposed of. These circumstances can improve the danger of theft.”

The audit crew concluded that the wi-fi retailer addressed lots of the points talked about within the report. CTM now tracks trial merchandise in the identical manner it tracks bought gear and the division has improved the way it tracks stock.

Michael Yamma labored as a Senior Investigator in Audit.

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