EAU CLAIRE COUNTY (WQOW) - Two men, both of whom were city of Eau Claire employees, allegedly used Menards rebate money belonging to the city on personal items.
That is according to court documents filed late last month.
Steven Roscoe, 58, and Jason Palmer, 45, are each charged with a count of misdemeanor theft.
According to the criminal complaints filed in Eau Claire County Court:
City officials first came forward last November over fraudulent spending concerns.
A city director provided authorities with a list of transactions at Menards stores using rebate cards that did not appear to be for work purposes.
In an interview with authorities, Palmer admitted some purchases were not work-related. He said he guessed almost every time he was given a rebate card, he would buy personal items. Palmer admitted he was defrauding the city and said his actions were no different from stealing money.
Roscoe told authorities he must have gotten the city rebate cards mixed in with his own rebate cards. Roscoe eventually told authorities the first time he used a city rebate card was an accident, and later said, "I think I wanted to get caught. I did it."
Eau Claire Human Resources Director Victoria Seltun told News 18 both Roscoe and Palmer were placed on paid leave while an internal investigation was conducted. At the end of that investigation, both men paid back money taken (Palmer -$183.61 and Roscoe - $372.95), served a five-day unpaid suspension. were told to serve 40 hours of community service and had purchasing card privileges revoked.
Seltun said instead of being fired, Roscoe agreed to retire from his park supervisor position by June 15, 2021, which he did, and Palmer agreed if charges were filed he would be placed on unpaid suspension until the case was concluded. His employment will be reevaluated once the case has been completed.
Roscoe worked for the city for 30 years. Palmer has been an employee for 15 years.
Both face a maximum of nine months in prison if convicted.