Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Who's in charge here?

Gilbert Suarez, the City's Superintendent of Public Works, has been on paid administrative leave since being arrested on May 15 for stealing money from parking meters. He undergoes a hearing today before the City Manager to determine his "job status" -- I assume the choices are leave with pay, leave without pay, or dismissal.

There's a lot wrong in this mess. The thefts were particularly egregious. Did no one see him emptying meters in the early morning hours of weekends? How long has it been going on and how much money is missing. Who was auditing meter receipts? Whose job was it to oversee Suarez' work? Who hired him in the first place?

Innocent until proven guilty? Sure, of course. But shouldn't the fox be removed from the henhouse when found with a dead chicken in his mouth?

I predict this will end in a guilty plea and a negotiated sentence, maybe even no jail time. How about his family members bringing cartloads of rolled quarters to the bank and cashing them in for cash? His wife and "family members" who participated ought to be charged as accomplices to theft.

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