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Cape conducting internal investigation into lunch-time vehicle use

By Staff | Jan 27, 2011

City spokeswoman Connie Barron said an “internal investigation” is being conducted regarding employees allegedly violating city policy pertaining to vehicle use.
Public Works employees were spotted at Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits — which is seemingly outside of city limits near the intersection of Bayshore Road and U.S. 41 – in city vehicles having lunch.
Barron said it was unclear if the employees were driving from Public Works on Everest Parkway to Popeye’s to eat lunch, or if they were already working in the area and decided to go eat.
“It’s being investigated internally,” Barron said. “Right now there’s more questions than answers.”
Taking a city vehicle from Public Works to Popeye’s is a clear violation of city use, Barron said. Employees are not allowed to use city vehicles for personal reasons, or to take vehicles outside of city limits for personal use.
However, Barron did say that if employees were on a job in a city vehicle — if they were working close to the Popeye’s, it’s not required they drive back to Public Works, pick up their own personal vehicle, eat at Popeye’s, then return to pick up the city vehicle and continue working.
Barron said the city had a “progressive discipline” policy, and the level of discipline would depend on what’s discovered through the investigation.
Three employees were allegedly involved.
“There’s still a lot of question marks,” Barron said.