HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – A former Texas Department of Public Safety employee has been arrested after an investigation shows he stole nearly $9,000 worth of fuel for his personal vehicle.
According to court documents, Fernando Gonzalez, 40, resigned from his position as a criminal investigation division agent for DPS in September 2015. In November 2015, an audit was conducted on Gonzalez’s state-issued fuel card. The fuel card was only to be used for fuel purchases and routine maintenance for his state-issued vehicle, department policy prohibits the card from being used for personal use.
DPS commissioned officers who are assigned a state-issued vehicle are required to maintain a detailed log of daily mileage, fuel purchases and routine maintenance. From January 2014 to August 2015, investigators say Gonzalez failed to document the purchase of fuel on 172 occasions. After further review, court documents state that 94 of the fuel purchases occurred when Gonzalez was off-duty.
Since August, Gonzalez has been working as the assistant fire marshal in Guadalupe County; he has since resigned his position.
“For the three months he was here, he was a great employee. DPS didn’t mention anything about the investigation when he was hired,” said Guadalupe County Fire Marshal Patrick Pinder.
Pinder says he was contacted last Wednesday by Guadalupe County Sheriff Arnold Zwicke who said Gonzalez was no longer a commissioned peace officer, a title required to hold the assistant fire marshal position. Pinder says he notified Gonzalez that morning and by Wednesday evening he had tendered his resignation.
Gonzalez was booked into the Hays County Jail on Monday for felony charges of theft, he has since bonded out.