MERRIAM, Kan. – Former Merriam Public Works Director Randall “Randy” Carroll has pleaded guilty to felony official misconduct on Thursday morning.
The former Merriam Public Works director agreed to plead guilty to that charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping a felony theft charge against him.
“I think my reaction was basically disappointment on the whole issue,” said Merriam City Administrator Phil Lammers.
Lammers says Carroll was not only part of the city’s leadership team, but a personal friend he trusted.
“Randy and I had on a couple of occasions played golf, racquetball on a fairly routine level, so it makes it difficult,” Lammers said.
Carroll, 61, worked for the city of Merriam for 34 years. He was fired last September.
Court records show his gas-stealing scheme started to unravel when a fellow employee became suspicious and set up a video camera. That camera captured video of Carroll stealing gas from the city pump and putting it in his personal vehicle on multiple occasions over roughly a year.
Records say Carroll can be seen in multiple videos hosing off the public works shop floor where his truck made tracks after getting gas.
On one occasion, the video shows Carroll urinating on the floor while he’s hosing off tire tracks.
“I try not to think about those kinds of things,” said Lammers. “What people’s behaviors are when somebody isn’t watching I can’t control that,” he said.
By his own admission in court records, Carroll stole 160 gallons of city gas. This theft took place despite Carroll getting $400 a month allowance on top of his salary to use his personal vehicle at work.
“Randy Carroll did get an automobile allowance which among other things was expected to pay for fuel,” said Lammers.
When the 41 Action News Investigators specifically asked Carroll outside the Johnson County Courthouse why he would steal gas when he was getting an allowance for it, on advice of his attorney who was with him, Carroll walked away in silence.
Carroll will be sentenced in July. He faces between five and 23 months in prison or 18 months of probation.
To prevent another similar issue, Merriam city leaders have tightened gas keeping records.
When Carroll was fired, he was already eligible to retire.
Despite his guilty plea to a felony crime, Kansas taxpayers are paying Carroll full retirement benefits.