Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Has More Take-Home Cars Than Reported

Local 10 Found At Least 10 Vehicles Not On List Given To Mayor

Published On: Oct 31 2011 03:52:42 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 29 2011 03:56:40 AM EDT
MIAMI -

There is a new twist in a Local 10 investigation into the number of Miami-Dade County vehicles employees are allowed to take home at the taxpayers' expense.

Does Miami-Dade Fire Rescue really know how many vehicles go home, or were we misled? Local 10 has discovered Miami-Dade Fire Rescue sends many more county vehicles home with employees then it is willing to admit.

Hundreds and thousands of additional tax dollars are being spent on gas, maintenance and insurance for take-home cars that don't appear on a list that was provided to Local 10 and the mayor's office by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Based on the list provided to Local 10, 64 employees in the department take vehicles home at a cost to taxpayers of $220,000 for gas, maintenance and insurance. But, Local 10 has learned the list and that figure are not accurate.

A crew spent two weeks going from home to home, and in driveway after driveway, it found Fire Rescue vehicles that didn't appear anywhere on the list of cars allowed to go home.

Local 10 asked the department about it.

"If you have any evidence of vehicles being taken home, an investigation will be looked into those vehicles and corrective action will be taken," said Lt. Art Piedrahita with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Local 10 spotted and documented 10 additional Fire Rescue vehicles. Sources in the department said there are even more.

After Local 10 started asking questions, Chief Bill Bryon sent out a memo his employees, saying: "Being assigned a 24-hour vehicle does not give the assignee the authority to take the vehicle home at night."

Local 10 provided Miami-Dade Fire Rescue with a list of vehicles it found in driveways that weren't on the list.

The mayor's office has been informed of the discrepancy and is looking into the issue.