AUSTIN, Texas - A former Austin Energy employee has admitted to stealing two pieces of equipment valued at $43,000.
An investigative report issued by the Office of the City Auditor states in early 2019, Austin Energy received an order of eight nitrogen oxide analyzers needed for their gas turbines.
The analyzers cost are said to cost over $21,000 each.
On March 29, 2019, the report says an employee discovered that two of the analyzers were missing. The next day, utility staff found one of the stolen analyzers for sale online for $11,200, and Austin Energy filed an incident report with the Austin Police Department.
Rodney Stockton, an inventory control specialist II, submitted a letter of resignation on April 8, 2019, in which he admitted to stealing the two analyzers according to the report.
The report states APD recovered the two missing nitrogen oxide analyzers, however, Austin Energy had to ship the analyzers to the manufacturer to be recalibrated at a cost of over $3,000 each.
As a part of their investigation, the Austin Police Department contacted the online marketplace where the analyzers were listed for sale and received a list of items that had been sold on the same account.
The report says the list contained 20 items, in addition to the two analyzers described above, that had been stolen from Austin Energy and listed for sale between July 2018 and March 2019. The combined value of these items was said to be more than $87,000.
Austin Energy says the analyzers were stolen, the thefts had been concealed because the stolen items were from the power plant’s warehouse that was not frequently used.
Austin Energy says in total, Stockton is accused of stealing more than $130,000 worth of items from the utility.
According to a statement from his attorney, Stockton does not admit to being responsible for the other items found in the investigation.