By Brian Maass & Mark Ackerman
DENVER (CBS4) – A CBS4 investigation has learned that a Colorado Department of Transportation administrator who oversaw fleet maintenance and one of his subordinates have been fired for using a state credit card to buy materials to fix up and sell personal vehicles.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has been asked to look into the matter and see if the conduct amounts to criminal activity.
“Two employees were found to be in violation of state rules,” said CDOT spokesperson Amy Ford. “They used state resources for personal gain and inappropriately used a state purchasing card.”
Ford said Fleet Supervisor John Kreitner and mechanic Joshua Jessup were terminated earlier this month.
CBS4 obtained copies of a state credit card issued to Kreitner. It showed hundreds of dollars in purchases earlier this year for automobile paint. However the colors purchased — like “cactus green metallic” and “bronzit beige metallic” — were not colors used by the state to paint any of their vehicles.
The internal CDOT investigation also suggested the men were repainting used cars at the CDOT motor pool garage in Denver using state resources, then reselling those vehicles.
“It’s important to us because its integrity. Taxpayers expect us to be good stewards of their resources and dollars,” said Ford.
CBS4 contacted Jessup requesting comment on the investigation that led to his termination.
”Nah, I’m good,” responded Jessup.
When CBS4 visited Kreitner’s Littleton home, as soon as Kreitner spotted the CBS4 crew he ran back inside his garage and closed the door, refusing to answer questions.
CDOT said its employees know better than to misappropriate taxpayer resources for personal gain. In a January 2015 memo, Deputy Director Scot Cuthbertson said state employees had apparently been allowed to use state facilities for personal use. He said the issue arose when a CDOT employee was hurt while using CDOT facilities to work on a personal vehicle.
“I am told this practice is fairly common and has been allowed to occur,” wrote Cuthbertson. “Effective upon receipt of this email any personal use of CDOT equipment and facilities will cease.”
The state agency says it is now auditing its motor pool facilities around the state to make certain employees are not using taxpayer resources for personal gain.
”We are holding ourselves accountable to the taxpayers,” said Ford.