Where’s the Gas?

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WILKES-BARRE -- The Wilkes Barre city gas pumps at the DPW headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue are set up to pull up and pump. There's no working pay station, just a sheet inside the office for people to write their name down and how much they pumped.

But according to a Times Leader report published earlier this month, there are no records showing who took nearly 18,000 gallons of city gasoline from late 2011 through June.

A local citizen watchdog saw that report and filed a criminal complaint against the city.

Bob Kadluboski wrote to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and filed a criminal complaint against the city of Wilkes-Barre.

The department of revenue wrote back.  In a letter to Kadluboski Newswatch 16 obtained, Chief Counsel Daniel Kraus writes:

"The issues you raise, if proven, are serious. Therefore I am referring this matter to our audit department as well as our bureau of criminal tax investigations for investigation and possible enforcement action."

In light of these allegations, the city says changes will be coming to the pumps. One idea would be to require all city employees to swipe their ID card to turn on the pumps.

The city spokesperson said the fuel that is unaccounted for is likely due to bad record keeping and he doesn't believe employees were using the city gas for their own personal use.  He also said the city is conducting its own investigation.