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 exhibits a former worker of the Communications and Expertise Division who “stole and tried to promote a cell system owned by town in December 2021.” That worker, former IT help analyst Brian Cox, resigned from Metropolis in April 2022, thus avoiding firing.

In response to the report, which was launched final week, CTM workers found the theft after Cox tried to promote the system for $1,000 on an internet market. The put up included a photograph of what gave the impression to be a cell system owned by town. CTM personnel notified the Austin Police Division, who recovered the system from Cox.

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

The system was described within the report as “a handheld system meant for public security personnel. This system was one among 29 that the producer despatched to the CTM Wi-fi Retailer for subject testing by workers, together with Cox.” Though town examined the units, solely that she did not purchase any ultimately. In response to the report, the units have been made obtainable for free of charge and the producer clearly didn’t count on to return them.

When the audit staff spoke to Cox, he informed them “he had discovered the system in one among his previous work luggage.” Cox stated he determined to put up the system on the market on-line reasonably than return it, as a result of he didn’t need to take care of the “headache” of returning it. Cox asserted he didn’t have permission to promote The system. He additionally admitted attempting to promote the system for $1,000 however denied attempting to promote some other objects from the wi-fi retailer.”

When given the chance to reply to the allegations, Cox didn’t deny taking the system 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 data, which initially appeared to indicate about $29,000 in lacking stock. Nevertheless, after the workers did some extra analysis, the worth of the lacking stock was diminished 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 stated it couldn’t account for 2 of the identical cell units 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 maintaining observe of experimental merchandise, such because the system Cox tried to promote, in the identical manner that it could usually use bought stock.” “. The auditors additionally discovered what they referred to 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 objects are faraway from stock, there aren’t any data of which objects correctly disposed of. These situations can improve the danger of theft.”

The audit staff 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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