Former Merriam public works director won’t serve jail time in fuel theft case; put on probation, must pay city $850

Randy Carroll's booking photo from his arrest last year.
Randy Carroll’s booking photo from his arrest last year.

Former Merriam Public Works Director Randy Carroll will not serve jail time for taking fuel for his personal use. Carroll did receive an underlying sentence of seven months in prison, but will only serve it if he violates the terms of his probation.

The sentence, imposed in Johnson County District Court last week was part of a plea agreement reached between prosecutors and Carroll. Carroll pleaded guilty to felony official misconduct and a second charge of theft was dismissed under the agreement.

Carroll also will pay the City of Merriam $850 in restitution for the fuel. He will be on probation for 18 months.

The criminal investigation into Carroll began in September of 2015 and was turned over to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. Carroll’s employment with the city was terminated about the same time.

Public works employees began to suspect Carroll, who had worked for the department for 34 years, of taking fuel for personal use and began secretly filming the public works fuel truck after hours as early as October 2014. One employee provided investigators with 19 videos taken at the public works building showing Carroll moving fuel from the truck to his personal car.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, employees became suspicious when the fuel truck (used for mowing) required refueling in the winter when it was not used. They also noted times when the key was left in the “on” position and the battery was dead. At one point, they hid the keys to the truck which led to a confrontation with Carroll.

Employees put up other obstacles, such as parking trucks in front of the fuel truck, but video taken after hours showed Carroll moving them.

The affidavit says Carroll was given a $400 vehicle allowance to cover personal auto use and was not allowed to take fuel from the fuel truck. Carroll admitted to investigators that he was in the videos that were captured by the employees and estimated he had taken 160 gallons of fuel for personal use without permission, the document says.