Warren, Ohio (WYTV) – A concerned taxpayer and employee of Trumbull County wrote 33 Investigates a letter asking us to look into possible criminal activity when it comes to a government surplus program that is used by the county Sheriff.
While the equipment is free to the county, it costs taxpayers money to pick up the items all across the country.
33 Investigates has asked Sheriff Thomas Altiere to compile information as it pertains to the amount of overtime, gas and other expenses it has cost taxpayers to pick up the surplus equipment over the years. Altiere says he will give it to us, but it will take some time to compile.
Among the 150 items are guns, blankets, jackets, tools, boats, motorcycles, ATV’s and pieces of heavy construction equipment.
The tipster tells us a couple of deputies including a high ranking member of the Sheriffs department has been using the equipment for personal use on their farms, especially the construction equipment.
Altiere tells Trumbull County Bureau Chief Jeff Levkulich that at no time has any of his men used the equipment for personal use. However he admits some of the motorcycles were being stored in a garage in downtown Warren, which is owned by a deputy.
Altiere says they were just being stored there until they could find some room on county property.
Altiere admits most of the equipment doesn’t even work.
So why spend all that money on overtime, gas and manpower to go pick it up if it just sits there? Altiere says they never know when or for what job they might need some of those items. “It’s a good program.”