Pittsfield Highway Dept. employee arraigned on theft charges
PITTSFIELD -- Kevin Liebenow, one of three Pittsfield Highway Department employees alleged to have stolen diesel fuel from the city's maintenance garage, was arraigned on three felony larceny counts on Thursday morning in Central Berkshire District Court.
Liebenow is accused of having stolen $500 worth of diesel fuel from the city on three separate occasions last November. According to the criminal complaint, Liebenow and the two others were allegedly caught on videotape stealing the fuel.
The complaint states that Peter Bruneau, superintendent of the Department of Public Services, suspected the theft was taking place and notified Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood, who contacted police.
Pittsfield police setup a camera at the garage, which allegedly captured Liebenow and two other department employees, Richard Bator and Tod Wallace, allegedly stealing diesel fuel. Wallace allegedly was caught taking paper supplies and two exhaust hoses as well.
Bruneau's suspicions were aroused after an alleged incident last year in which Wallace and his son, who was on a leave of absence from the department, appeared at the garage and were seen leaving 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 was unaccounted for.
Liebenow pleaded not guilty to the charges in front of Judge Fredric Rutberg. He was released on his own recognizance pending a Feb. 27 pre-trial hearing.
Collingwood said the city is pursuing administrative action against all three employees, but declined to discuss the employment status of the three.
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