Cape Girardeau city employees face criminal charges

Cape Girardeau city employees face criminal charges

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Four Cape Girardeau City employees are at the center of a police investigation for allegedly selling city property and keeping the money for themselves.

According to court documents, the investigation focuses on events that took place between February and November of last year.

"We were contacted by the director who stated he'd been approached by an employee who brought to his attention some things that had been going on that he didn't think were appropriate and we initiated an investigation into that," said Cape Police Sgt. Jason Selzer.

The statement says on November 15th this past year, Cape Girardeau Director of Public Works Timothy Gramling came forward with information that some employees were taking city property to scrap businesses for profit and dividing the money amongst themselves.

The statement identifies the four employees of the Public Works Traffic Crew as Travis Friga, Geoffrey Dial, Austin Carver, and Robert Kutak, Jr.

Each faces a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property.

"It's just a terrible thing to happen," said Sgt. Selzer. "We don't like having to investigate another employee of the city, but when it comes to that it's just something we have to do."

The men are accused of recycling used or broken signs, used batteries, and in some instances, even parts for new signs for cash.

The employees would allegedly take the property to Side's Metal Recycling or Ellis Battery.

The stolen property adds up to several thousand dollars of your tax money.

An employee of Side's Metal Recycling said they were contacted by the city and are now supposed to get a list of city personnel and make all checks payable directly to the city.

City Manager Scott Meyer tells me he cannot discuss personnel matters.

So it's unclear whether these four are still employed by the city of Cape.

All four men are set to appear in court January 27th.

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