Pittsfield highway department workers fired after investigation


PITTSFIELD -- Three Pittsfield highway department workers were terminated on Friday following an investigation into allegations they stole diesel fuel and other items from the city.

Richard Bator, Kevin Liebenow and Tod Wallace were fired after a "thorough internal investigation into the issue and a review of the facts," city of Pittsfield Director of Personnel John DeAngelo said.

DeAngelo said the decision to terminate was made jointly by himself, Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood and the city attorney’s office. The three were given notification of a termination hearing, to which only one of them attended, DeAngelo said.

All three had been on paid leave since December. Liebenow was arraigned on felony larceny charges in January, after being accused of stealing $500 worth of diesel fuel from the highway garage on three separate occasions last November.

Peter Bruneau, superintendent of the Department of Public Services, was alerted to possible thefts of diesel fuel last year after he told police and Collingwood that he witnessed Wallace and his son, who was on a leave of absence from the department, leave the garage with large recycling bins in the back of their vehicle. Wallace allegedly told Bruneau that he was picking up supplies for his son’s new auto repair shop on Elm Street. Afterwards, Bruneau allegedly discovered that 21 gallons of diesel fuel were unaccounted for.

Pittsfield police setup a camera at the highway garage to allegedly catch the three stealing fuel. Wallace allegedly took paper supplies and exhaust hoses as well.

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