A longtime City of East Ridge employee was recently fired for allegedly stealing city property, officials said Tuesday.
Sammy McAllister, the one-time assistant supervisor for the street department, was terminated last month for taking a bag of tools from Camp Jordan Arena, said City Manager Scott Miller.
“You don’t get to take home tools for personal use,” Miller said.
Officials said this was not the first time McAllister has been in trouble on his job. According to his personnel file, over the course of his 15-year tenure with the city he had been suspended for illegal use of a city vehicle, using city equipment on personal property and being in “an altercation involving East Ridge police” that resulted in a warrant being sworn for his arrest.
According to an ERPD police report, on the morning of June 14 police were called to the arena in reference to a theft. An officer spoke with Kim Gann and Bill Owens, two longtime employees of the park. Gann told police that two drills along with sockets in a red “Milwaukee” bag that were owned by the City of East Ridge were stolen.
Owens told police that supplies were being delivered to the arena’s concession stand and the vendor asked to use a drill to unlock a cooler. Another employee went to get the drill where it was normally located but it was gone.
Owens told police that prior to the vendor’s arrival that morning only two other people had been in the building, both city employees, one of them being McAllister. Arena employees reviewed video surveillance of the building, and the video shows McAllister leaving the arena with a red bag tucked under his right arm.
ERPD Assistant Chief Stan Allen said that police did a “well-being” check on McAllister’s wife at their Altamira Drive home at some point after the theft was reported. Police have had a history of responding to calls at the McAllister house, including domestic violence calls, officials said. Chief Allen said Mrs. McAllister was not there, but police “saw things that were taken from Camp Jordan.”
Asked if McAllister was arrested, Chief Allen said the city declined to prosecute.
City Manager Miller said that the city did not prosecute McAllister because it got its tools back.
“You’ve got to look at the situation,” Miller said. “He’s had problems with his wife and he’s been counseled and given every opportunity. We got all our property back.”
Miller said that McAllister’s “excuse” for his conduct was that he “needed to borrow the tools and he intended to bring them back.”