New Jersey State Senator Jennifer Beck is again calling for the State Attorney General to further investigate the misuse of New Jersey's state cars. A state audit was released last December which detailed the questionable use of state cars and state-issued credit cards used to buy gas.
"The blatant abuse of taxpayers' money is intolerable and those responsible need to be held accountable," Beck stated. "Anytime there is questionable, unethical or possible illegal use of taxpayer money the Attorney General should begin an immediate investigation."
The audit revealed that over the course of two years, the operators of 602 state vehicles made 2072 gas purchases where that amount purchased exceeded the gas tank capacity. It went on to say that annually 158,000 gallons of fuel are consumed without accurate documentation as to which car that fuel is going into, which equates to roughly $372,880. Additionally, in Fiscal Year 2007 the audit found there were 1200 same day gas transactions, many of which were deemed questionable and/or unreasonable.
"The report detailing the widespread abuse was issued in December of last year," Beck continued. "And one year later the Attorney General issued a boilerplate press release citing seven rank and file employees who pled guilty to stealing gas. Seven employees do not drive over 600 cars or use over 150,000 gallons of fuel in a given year. Corrective action must be taken, not only to prevent this abuse from taking place in the future, but also to ensure that those responsible for past misuse are held accountable."
Senator Beck first called for the investigation in October after a Senate State Government Committee hearing was held detailing the abuse.