One city of Dayton employee was terminated and another one retired after a police investigation into unauthorized scrap-metal sales at a local junkyard.
The investigation has not resulted in any criminal convictions, but raised questions about whether city employees sold scrap-metal without authorization from their supervisors, which is against city policy.
The workers, one of whom is fighting to get his job back, claim multiple Dayton employees and supervisors regularly sold city-owned scrap metal for cash that was set aside to pay for employee parties and other work-related expenses.
City policy states that authorization is required for such sales and the money turned over to the finance department for deposit within one business day, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said.
“Every department has a petty cash fund which has strict financial regulations that require verification including receipts and signatures,” Dickstein said.
David Shaver, a construction electrician terminated by the city following the investigation, has appealed to the city’s Civil Service Board in an effort to get his job back.
William Landis, a facilities management electrician and a city employee of about 28 years, initially faced charges of theft in office but was placed in a diversion program that allowed him to avoid criminal prosecution, according to a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.
Landis received all his vacation and sick leave credits as part of his retirement, according to a separation agreement obtained by the Dayton Daily News.
Landis acknowledged selling city-owned scrap on at least two occasions and agreed to repay $956 to the city, the agreement states. He also agreed to share details of every incident of which he was aware of city employees exchanging scrap for cash or other compensation, and to cooperate in the prosecution or administrative proceeding against any employee who took and sold scrap.
Landis’ attorney, Dennis Lieberman, said the money wasn’t used for personal gain.
“The city wasn’t really harmed in the process because the money was used for city purposes,” Lieberman said.
Shaver’s attorney, David Duwel, declined to comment for this article. Shaver has a hearing before the civil service board next month.
Employee: Others ‘do it’
On Oct. 26, 2016, Dayton police responded to a call from the manager at First Street Recycling, 1321 East First St., who told them someone in a city vehicle sold 470 pounds of wire for $435, according to a police investigative report.
Landis, who later acknowledged selling the wire, had asked to be paid in cash and the receipt put in his name, the report states.
The transaction was unusual, the manager told police, because First Street typically pays with a check made out to the city when it buys city-owned scrap metal.
Police spoke with the division manager of facilities management — Landis’ department — who said Landis did not have permission to sell the wiring. Officials searched Landis’ desk and found another sales ticket from August from the same scrap yard, according to the police report.
In an interview with detectives, Landis acknowledged that he did not have approval to sell the scrap but said he thought it was OK because other city employees “do it all the time,” the police report states.
Lieberman acknowledged Landis should have gone through the city’s purchasing department, but said, “I don’t think my client was an island. Probably he got this idea from others in the city.”
Shaver was fired last November after the city found that he sold scrap metal at least twice to First Street Recycling — once in February 2016 and again in October, according to documents in his personnel file.
In January of this year, police and Dayton Law Director Barbara Doseck met with Shaver and Duwel, Shaver’s attorney.
According to a police report from that meeting, Duwel turned over two sealed envelopes containing about $614 and $1,513.
The envelope with the lesser amount had a receipt from First Street Recycling that was made out to Landis.
Duwel told police the second envelope was from an unidentified employee who said he “inherited it” from Landis, according to the police report.
Shaver had worked for the city since 2012 and was making $33 per hour when he was terminated. He had received proficient performance evaluations, including a commendation in 2014 for noticing and reporting a dangerous and malfunctioning boiler that could have caused more serious problems.
Landis also received a proficient score on his most recent evaluation.
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