On Tuesday, we had a story looking at suspicious use of a Belle Glade garbage truck -- the mileage records were a mess and seemed to suggest something shady was happening that caused the use of the truck to skyrocket earlier this year while gas use was suspiciously low.
Well, we've got our answer. Was it a garbage-hauling side job put on the taxpayer dime? A city commissioner using it for trips to Tallahassee?
Nah. Garbage man doesn't know how to read the meter.
The main issue was a drastic jump in the mileage between February and April -- suddenly, there were more than 6,000 extra miles on a truck that accrued only 5,200 the previous year or so. Not helping matters was that multiple entries listed the mileage as "4321" instead of, you know, the mileage. It looked fishy. I called Belle Glade officials, and they either didn't call back or said they weren't given permission to talk.
And then MAOS blogger Chaz Stevens, who filed a complaint with the State Attorney's Office about the matter, got this photo:
|via Chaz Stevens|
Well, damn. Looks like somebody switched the odometer over to kilometers -- probably right around when that big jump in mileage happened. And when it comes to the "4321" entries in mileage records, they appear to be referencing... the transmission display.
So it looks like the answer to the "what's going on here?" question is that the guy driving Truck 707 has no idea how to fill out a form and just writes down whatever number he sees first. Not quite as bad as an AWOL garbage truck.
As for Stevens, he emailed the state attorney (and Belle Glade officials) yesterday retracting his complaint and put up a post on his site explaining what happened: "Bit in the ass by the goddamn metric system
." The original post appears to have been taken down.