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Richmond employee’s use of city vehicle under scrutiny

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Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-06 19:26:27-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- One Richmond City employee’s long commute is currently under the microscope.

The city auditor says he started investigating after receiving a tip about a city vehicle parked outside a Kroger grocery store in Chesterfield County. The employee stated that it was acceptable to management if he made a quick stop as long as it was en route to home.

Umesh Dalal says he learned that the city worker, who was hired last May, was given permission to drive a city vehicle to and from his home in Fredericksburg for up to one year.

But that employee has since moved to Chesterfield and was continuing to drive the city vehicle to and from work, which goes against city policy.

City policies include:

“No personal use of city-owned vehicles is allowed;

Individuals assigned a “Take Home” vehicle are authorized to drive directly to and from work provided they live within the corporate limits of the city of Richmond;

Individuals living outside the corporate limits of the city of Richmond are required to park his/her assigned vehicle at a designated location within the City’s corporate limits.”

Policy further states that “the only exception to the above provisions applicable in this situation is that a city owned vehicle can be used by individuals performing special and mandated activities for a designated period of time. However, special and mandated activities have not been defined.”

Dalal says since the city is trying to control vehicle costs, they should address this matter.