MOUNT VERNON — A former city employee changed his plea from not guilty to guilty Monday in Mount Vernon Municipal Court on charges of petty theft.
Greg Vickers, 54, Mount Vernon, was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Monday when he changed his plea.
Assistant Law Director Rob Broeren said he was not surprised in the change because the city has an “air-tight” case against Vickers.
Vickers was terminated from his position of meter reader and repair foreman on Oct. 18, 2011, after a pre-disciplinary hearing the previous day.
Four petty theft charges were filed the following week in municipal court. He was charged with theft of lights valued at $49, an oak screen door worth $84, a $62 shower head and deck stain worth $37.98.
According to documents acquired by the News from a public records request, these were not the only items purchased by Vickers that did not appear to fit his job description as a meter reader.
Since 2008, Vickers signed for purchases at Lowes that included oak molding, interior doors, multiple gallons of interior and ceiling paint, a paint sprayer, a chain saw, two water garden pumps, a nail gun, garage floor paint, a $328 toilet and patio furniture among other items.
When questioned about the items and why additional charges were not included, Safety-Service Director Dave Glass said Vickers told him the toilet was broken when he attempted to install it in the meter room on Ridgewood Avenue.
Broeren told the News only items that could be proven to be in Vicker’s personnel possession were chargeable offenses. The decision to limit the charges to just four were based on the investigation conducted by the Mount Vernon Police Department.
“We had to physically match the purchased items with things that were found at his house,” Broeren said.
Vickers, like any other authorized city employee, can make purchases at the home improvement store, or other local vendors, with a purchase order number and identification. Receipts are then provided to department personnel who then keep record of the purchase and remaining balance of the purchase order, according to Terry Scott, city auditor.
Vickers is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 3, following a pre-sentence investigation. Each charge could result in up to six months jail time and up to a $1,000 fine, according to City Law Director Bill Smith.