MONTESANO, Wash. - The City of Montesano yesterday terminated the employment of Public Works Lead Russ Burke over allegations involving missing paint for striping city streets, and Mr Burke's street striping business.
A press release from the city said that Detective Sergeant Shane Krohn with the Hoquiam Police investigated the matter for the prosecuting attorney’s office, criminal charges were declined earlier this month. An outside investigation supported findings that under Mr Burke the city lost hundreds of gallons of paint, surplused a $6,000 paint sprayer for $25.00 to an employee of Mr Burke's, and hired some of Mr Burke's own employees to run errands for his business.
The Notice of Termination letter also cites repeated attempts to dodge investigators, and says that the investigation is suspended. Burke was entering his 16th week on paid administrative leave, and has filed a $400,000 claim for damages against the city.