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Published: Tuesday, 7/29/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Maumee employee resigns

Worker admits stealing gas for own use, police say

BY STEPHEN GRUBER-MILLER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Theaker Theaker
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A city of Maumee employee has submitted his resignation following two charges of theft in office filed against him last week for using city funds to purchase gasoline for his personal use.

David Theaker, 53, a supervisor in the service division, was charged July 24 in Maumee Municipal Court with two fifth-degree felonies: theft in office by a public official, and theft of property owned by the municipal corporation. He will next appear in Maumee Municipal Court on Aug. 4 for an arraignment.

“It’s very disappointing,” Maumee Mayor Richard Carr said. “He was a good person as far as the stuff he’s done in the community.”

Mayor Carr said Mr. Theaker was suspended July 23 after a conversation with police about their investigation, and voluntarily submitted his resignation the same day.

Maumee City Council is expected to decide whether to accept Mr. Theaker’s resignation at its next scheduled meeting on Aug. 4, said Mayor Carr, who said the resignation will likely be accepted.

The charges against Mr. Theaker come after what allegedly was part an ongoing pattern of theft, a police report said.

Going back at least to June 9, Mr. Theaker had been purchasing gas ostensibly intended for his city vehicle and taking it home in 5-gallon gas containers for his personal use, while charging the gas to the city, police said.

He told police he had been using the gas to fuel his children’s cars, according to a report filed by Maumee Police Lt. Jeffrey Siebenaler.

“It looks like it’s been going on for some time,” police spokesman Sergeant Timothy Stratton said. “I think we’ve got enough that we don’t need to push further.”

Sergeant Stratton said the case against Mr. Theaker was clear enough that it was not a police priority to continue investigating past activity.

Police received an anonymous tip on July 2, that Mr. Theaker was allegedly stealing gas from the city, prompting the investigation. The report detailed seven purchases of gas between June 9 and July 22 totaling 167 gallons of gas at a cost of $581.50.

In all instances, Mr. Theaker’s receipts indicated that the gas was for his city of Maumee vehicle, a 2012 Ford F150 belonging to the Natural Resources department.

Surveillance footage from the Sunoco at 552 Illinois Ave. showed multiple cases of Mr. Theaker filling plastic 5-gallon containers with gas and loading them into the bed of his truck.

Later, police surveillance at Mr. Theaker’s residence at 212 E. Indiana Ave. showed him unloading the containers from his truck and placing them in his garage.

Police confronted Mr. Theaker about their findings on July 22.

“I asked Theaker if he was acknowledging that he has been stealing fuel from the city of Maumee by charging it to the municipal account and using it for personal usage. Theaker indicated ‘Yes it was stupid,’ ” Lieutenant Siebenaler wrote in his report.

The city is carrying out an audit to determine how long the alleged actions have been going on.

“It’s not something you would expect from any employee, especially someone who’s in a management position,” Mayor Carr said, calling the situation “totally unacceptable.”

Maumee is exploring options to increase employee accountability following the case. Mayor Carr has asked the law director to find out how other communities hold employees accountable and suggested that the city may require employees to record starting and ending mileage when using city vehicles.

Mr. Theaker is also a Maumee Board of Education member, and board President Stephanie Piechowiak indicated that there would be an opportunity to discuss his case during the board’s regular meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today at 716 Askin St.

The only two ways for Mr. Theaker to be removed from the board are through his resignation or a public referendum, Ms. Piechowiak said.

“Board members may choose to have a discussion of the situation regarding Dave Theaker, but that is not on the agenda,” she said.

Contact Stephen Gruber-Miller at: smiller@theblade.com, 419-724-6050, or on Twitter @sgrubermiller.



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