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CFO Sink, Fdle Take Action against State Worker

5/23/2007

DFS employee fired, charged with grand theft for stealing and reselling state property
 
TALLAHASSEE—A former supervisor in the Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of General Services has been charged with grand theft after several employees alleged that he took desks, file cabinets, chairs, scrap metal and wire from a surplus property warehouse and sold the items to various salvage yards.  After an internal investigation revealed possible criminal violations, the department immediately referred the matter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for further investigation.
 
Tom Chandler, 47, of Sneads, surrendered on Saturday to two counts of third-degree grand theft and was booked into the Leon County Jail.  Bond was set at $5,000 and, if convicted on the charges, he could face up to five years in prison on each count.  He was terminated from the department on May 1, 2007.
 
“We appreciate FDLE taking swift action and for continuing to thoroughly investigate these allegations,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who oversees the department. 
 
Allegations began to surface in early April that Chandler, who has worked for the department since April 21, 2003, was taking property from the department’s surplus warehouse using a Ryder truck rented by the department.  It was alleged that he had various employees assist in transporting the items, and those employees said they saw Chandler pocket the cash.  The investigation reportedly disclosed 21 invoices, dated from August 2006 through March 2007, which totaled more than $1,400.
 
The Bureau of General Services is comprised of the Property Management Office, Mail Services, Printing, and Purchasing Services and serves department employees.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink  oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.