Channel 2 Investigates: Cypress Creek EMS COO admits using publicly funded facility for personal use
HOUSTON – In a stunning revelation at the end of a board meeting, the No. 2 Cypress Creek administrator admitted to getting his car fixed on two occasions at the garage designed to fix his organization’s ambulances.
Wren Nealy, COO, claimed that he paid for the parts but he said he could not remember who he made the check out to. He said the employees that did the work performed the tasks for him on the weekends, so they were not “on the clock”.
The information is especially pertinent because Nealy was tasked with alerting the Harris County Sheriff’s Office about similar instances involving members of the public who had their vehicles fixed at the ambulance garage.
The activity was caught on video by Channel 2 Investigates and resulted in CCEMS reimbursing ESD11, the taxing entity.
The administrator of the maintenance facility also left CCEMS shortly after the Channel 2 Investigation.
An interview obtained by former reporter, Wayne Dolcefino, with the head of HCSO’s financial crimes unit, reveals that the initial complaint was left to wither when CCEMS would not provide documents requested by HCSO.
“Our case was essentially theft by an employee which requires the cooperation of the complainant organization. We did not receive the requested documentation so our case was closed,” Sgt. Josh Nowitz said.
Nealy initially filed the complaint of employee theft with HCSO after Channel 2 Investigates had a van’s breaks fixed at the ambulance maintenance facility with $100 cash.
Channel 2 Investigates also uncovered a series of invoices on the official Cypress Creek EMS account that included various parts for cars and trucks not in the Cypress Creek EMS fleet.
Employees working in the maintenance yard are hourly employees paid with property tax dollars of residents served by the ambulance service in Northwest Harris County.
“So you didn’t provide the documents in a criminal investigation and then you implicated yourself, you’re a peace officer,” reporter, Joel Eisenbaum asked.
“I can’t comment on that,” Nealy said.
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