A former Austin Public Library employee is facing pending criminal proceedings after authorities alleged that he fraudulently bought and stole at least $ 1.3 million of printer toner and resold it online.
Randall Nelson Whited is charged with theft, a first degree felony because the amount he allegedly took is more than $ 200,000. Background research shows Whited, who turns 54 this month, has been arrested multiple times on charges of theft dating back to the mid-1980s.
“We are looking into the allegations and will work with the district attorney’s office to resolve the matter,” said Whited’s attorney Bill Hines.
The theft was discovered by the city auditor̵
The auditor’s office released a report on Monday morning stating that poor supervision by the library management meant that the theft went unnoticed.
“The library’s bad practices and procedures provided Whited with an opportunity to steal from the city during his tenure, leading to waste and overspending by the department,” according to the report. “Whited took advantage of poor purchasing reviews from his supervisors, former CFO Victoria Rieger and contract management specialist Monica McClure. Whited also took advantage of many other purchasing and budget-related shortcomings, such as having a role in approving their purchases and insufficient oversight of the Library budget by Rieger and Deputy Director Dana McBee.
As an accounting associate, Whited was responsible for making and approving purchases, collections, billing and other accounting transactions, the report said.
Whited resigned instead of the resolution in August 2019 over an unrelated matter, the auditor’s office said.
Due to previous theft convictions, the court could treat Whited as a habitual offender and increase his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison.
This is an evolving story; check back for updates.