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L.A. city audit to show $7 million in missing gasoline

March 29, 2012 |  8:27 am

Wendy Greuel
Millions of gallons of gasoline from city fueling sites is missing and some may have been used for personal vehicles, according to City Controller Wendy Greuel, who is releasing an audit Thursday.

More than $7 million in gasoline and other fuel has gone missing in recent years with no record of where it went, according to the audit.

"This would just not be acceptable in the private sector or any other place," said Greuel, who is running for mayor.

A $12-million fuel tracking system was put in place more than a decade ago but there are ways to override the protections.

Some employees are issued fuel cards. Using a keypad each time they fill up, they're expected to input their vehicle number and an odometer reading. Other city employees are assigned to vehicles that are equipped with a high-tech system that automatically logs the vehicle number, mileage and quantity of gas pumped during fueling.

But those tracking systems can be bypassed, either manually or with so-called "master cards" that are assigned to each of the city's 141 fuel sites.

The tools to bypass the tracking system are supposed to be used only when normal systems fail. But auditors found they were used to dispense millions of gallons of fuel over a 22-month period beginning in 2009.


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Photo: City Controller Wendy Greuel in 2011. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.