LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein caught LA City managers running errands and getting coffee on taxpayer’s time and money.
He caught one on hidden camera using company cars for personal use.
To anyone observing, it looks like the guy is using his own car to hit the gym.
At the pump, he’s paying for gas like everyone else. But Goldstein says you’re paying the bill.
The man’s name is Gerald Watson, a city sanitation manager He made more than $110,000 last year.
Goldstein watches as he fills up, goes to the dry cleaners, the ATM, a trip to Starbucks.
Watson works in a West LA city yard. He is allowed to use the new Ford Explorer to travel to and from job sites.
According to the city, it’s unlawful “to use or operate a city vehicle for any purpose other than for official city business.”
When Goldstein confronts Watson, at first he seemed to admit he was caught. And then he changed his tune.
“I just take [the car] home cause I’m on call,” he said.
He also told Goldstein on one of the days in question, he was working the night shift. The day in question actually turned out to be his scheduled day off, Goldstein reported.
Watson’s car was also missing the Sanitation Department’s official seal. He said the car came that way.
The city is investigating. They could not say when the investigation would be complete.
Goldstein says Watson is not the only one who has been caught abusing the system.
At least two men have been stripped of their car privileges while the investigation continues, Goldstein reported.