The state attorney’s office declined to file charges against the Medstar maintenance director who gave away and took home roughly $500 worth of helicopter fuel.
According to a sheriff’s report, Medstar maintenance director Greg Schiegner “was merely acting in good faith and completing his job to the best of his ability.”
Schiegner admitted to taking home about 60 gallons of fuel to use in his tractor and giving away another 40 gallons or so to the owner of the helicopter paint shop, according to the sheriff’s report and a transcript of Schiegner’s interview with a deputy.
But, Schiegner said, the fuel couldn’t have been reused, because it was contaminated when he took it out of a county helicopter to fix corrosion near the fuel tank.
Sometimes, when fuel is taken out of a county helicopter, it gets pumped back into a storage tank, run through filters and reused, according to Schiegner.
But in this instance, the aircraft was in Avon Park for a new paint job and it couldn’t be drained property, according to the sheriff’s report.
Other times, however, five or ten gallons of fuel would build up in the county’s container and Schiegner said he would take it home, he told deputies.
When Schiegner brought the fuel back from Avon Park, he said, he “didn’t even think” of bringing it into the county’s aircraft hangar and disposing of it in the waste container, according to the transcript.
By taking the fuel home, he said, he saved the county the cost a company would have charged to dispose of it, according to the transcript.
Schiegner told deputies that the county does not have a policy that describes the process for disposing of fuel.
“Chief Dickerson said, ‘well then we need to put a policy in place about this,’” Schiegner told deputies, recounting a conversation with EMS Chief Kim Dickerson.
As Medstar’s director of maintenance, it’s unclear why Schiegner couldn’t have created a policy.
County officials could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. Schiegner could not be reached for comment.
Employees are not allowed to take fuel home, regardless of whether it’s contaminated, Assistant County Manager Holly Schwartz has previously said.
Schiegner was placed on paid leave last month while deputies and the county’s Human Resources Department review the matter.
County Manager Karen Hawes stated the county’s internal review should be completed early next week.