TV station sues Merriam over video of fuel theft

KSHB-TV has filed a lawsuit in an effort to compel the City of Merriam to release video of a former public works director stealing from a fuel truck.

In 2014, a foreman who worked in the city’s public works department became suspicious that department director Randall Carroll was gassing up his personal vehicle with fuel stored in 78-gallon tanks in the bed of a city-owned Ford truck. The foreman, Randy Fine, borrowed a friend’s camera and positioned it to capture Carroll helping himself to the city’s fuel supply on multiple occasions.

Carroll was fired after Fine shared the video with city officials. In May, Carroll pleaded guilty to a felony charge of official misconduct. He received probation and agreed to pay the city $850 in restitution.

KSHB-TV reporter Andy Alcock made an open records request in July for a thumb drive with 19 videos of Carroll misappropriating the fuel, according to the lawsuit, which was filed last week in Johnson County. The city declined, telling Alcock the videos were “personnel records.” The city stood by the decision after receiving a letter from KSHB’s attorney.

The TV station is asking the court to declare the videos open records. The suit says the city’s refusal to provide them “was not in good faith and was without a reasonable basis in law or fact.”

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