Corpus Christi City Manager Ron Olson announced an internal investigation resulted in two former employees being indicted Thursday on theft charges. The actions came after a tip revealed wrong doing in the beach operations division of the Parks & Recreation Department. An internal investigation was promptly conducted, which led to the termination of the two employees. Subsequent information was turned over to the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office.
A police investigation showed the former employees, Derek Herzog and Mike Smith used their city issued credit cards to purchase merchandise and then later used that merchandise for personal use. Police investigators also believe the two created a temporary “ghost” employee who was paid for work that was never performed. Herzog worked for the City for 7 years as the Beach Operations and Aquatics Superintendent. Smith was employed by the City for 12 years as the Beach Operations Supervisor.
“The City of Corpus Christi is not going to tolerate this type of behavior and we will take action to protect taxpayers,” said City Manager Ron Olson. “The investigation was very thorough and to insure this does not happen again, the City has changed how employees use City issued credit cards and temporary employment companies.” Those changes include:
Enhanced administrative controls
Reduced spending limits.
Reduced the number of purchasing cards citywide.
An improved policy to prevent theft and improve oversight
City Manager Ron Olson reminds citizens they have multiple opportunities to report wrongdoing including the Employee Management Issues Hotline at (361) 826-8484 or the City Auditor’s Hotline at (361) 826-8477.