Scottsdale worker suspended in eBay probe - East Valley Tribune: News

Scottsdale worker suspended in eBay probe

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Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:19 pm | Updated: 11:30 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A Scottsdale employee has confessed to selling city equipment on eBay and has been placed on paid leave, the Tribune has learned.

Brian Rickard, a land survey technician, last year sold several pieces of city-owned survey equipment worth about $450 on the Internet auction site, according to Scottsdale police investigators.

Rickard, who has worked for the city since October 2001 and is paid $67,329 a year, has been placed on paid administrative leave while a human resources review is under way to determine whether ethics requirements, administrative regulations or other policies and procedures have been violated, according to a city statement prepared following a Tribune public records request.

The Scottsdale Police Department has completed its criminal investigation, but a decision whether to file criminal charges against Rickard has not been made, said Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark.

Rickard did not respond to a request for an interview, which was made by a city official on behalf of the Tribune.

The city's nine-paragraph statement provides a timeline of events.

Scottsdale police began an investigation on May 23 after the city received a letter from a private attorney alleging theft of city equipment. The attorney cited an anonymous source claiming to know that city equipment was being sold on eBay for individual profit.

Police investigated the claims through computer forensics and in-person interviews and found that between June and September 2007, Rickard sold several pieces of survey equipment on eBay. Rickard then confessed during an interview, the statement says.

The sale proceeds were not recovered and the whereabouts of the money is not known.

The anonymous information that launched the investigation implicated other employees, but no other allegations were substantiated, the statement says.

Pat Dodds, a city spokesman, said Scottsdale has not released the attorney's letter, which sparked the investigation or the police's investigative documents because the Arizona Attorney General's Office has not concluded whether additional investigation or information will be needed.

Dodds said the police investigation has been forwarded to the Attorney General's Office because it could involve out-of-state Internet sales. The case was submitted Aug. 28.

Anne Hilby, an Attorney General's Office spokeswoman, said the case is under review. She did not know when the review would be completed.

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