TDOT employee accused of stealing Metro gas cards - WKRN News 2

TDOT employee accused of stealing Metro gas cards

Posted: Updated: Oct 14, 2013 07:52 PM
Michael Taylor Michael Taylor
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A TDOT employee has been arrested and accused of stealing gas cards from Metro government vehicles.

Michael Taylor, 41, a former volunteer with the Metro Office of Emergency Management, was indicted by the Davidson County grand jury on a 15-count indictment.

After he allegedly stole gas cards, he would then fill up his personal vehicles.

Sources close to this investigation told Nashville's News 2 Investigates that through Taylor's volunteer position, he gained access to Metro lots, like the one near the Genesco Plant off Murfreesboro Road.

The lot is filled with hundreds of Metro police cars, water trucks, and fire vehicles.

Sources also said Taylor allegedly gained access into these lots by entering the OEM office and walking out the back door where he was able to find gas cards left in Metro vehicles that were being repaired.

Charles Shannon runs the Metro OEM, and Shannon said Taylor was one of 40 volunteers.

When asked if this incident will make OEM rethink its policies on safety and security, Shannon said he doesn't have the authority to make that decision.

"He was a volunteer. He was reinstated in July. We put him back on as a volunteer, not an employee. We gave him the rights to go out in weather events to assist the public. He could do anything from removing a tree in a yard or a street," Shannon explained.

He continued, "[Taylor] would he have access to OEM properties, of course. He would have access at the main shop where we have boats and generators, like any other volunteer. We do background checks like we do for anyone, even though they volunteer, and once they are clean, they have access."

Shannon added that Taylor has no previous criminal history.

Taylor's attorney, Dan Alexander, has only recently received the case.

"I just got the case, and have not received all the documents. I can't comment on a criminal case. We are looking into it. But I would say, he is innocent until proven guilty," he said.

Taylor has been an employee for the Tennesse Department of Transportation since April 2012 and works as a communications dispatcher.  Sources said he has no blemishes on his record.

TDOT officials said they were unaware of his indictment until News 2 called.  Taylor is still on the job working.

Spokesperson BJ Doughty stated, "State employees are not required to notify employers about criminal arrests that don't impact their jobs."

Taylor is out of jail on $50,000 bond.

This three year old investigation is still active and could involve other Metro employees.  Police sources said nobody inside the police department is a suspect and the Metro Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability initiated the investigation into Taylor.

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