Crime

Employee used city funds to buy tools and then resold them, police say

Joseph Arena, 57, of Margate, stole tools and equipment bought with the city’s purchasing card and resold them for profit, Fort Lauderdale police said.
Joseph Arena, 57, of Margate, stole tools and equipment bought with the city’s purchasing card and resold them for profit, Fort Lauderdale police said. Fort Lauderdale Police Department

A former Fort Lauderdale city employee was arrested Thursday and charged with dozens of counts of theft and misconduct after a investigation found he had used city funds to buy equipment and resell them for a profit, police said Friday.

57-year old Joseph Arena of Margate, who worked for the city’s Public Works Department, allegedly used a city-issued purchasing card to buy tools and other equipment that he then resold in several incidents, Detective Tracy Figone said according to a press release. The City of Fort Lauderdale’s Economic Crimes Unit began investigating the discrepancies on Arena’s card and arrested him Thursday morning.

Arena was charged with 27 counts of theft, misconduct and dealing in stolen property, Figone said.

“Our police department immediately launched this investigation when we were made aware of the allegations against Mr. Arena that ultimately resulted in his arrest,” Mayor Jack Seiler said in a statement. “This demonstrates the city’s ongoing efforts to maintain the highest standards of conduct throughout our organization and our commitment to take appropriate action when any wrongdoing is suspected.”

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