EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 23, 2013

Garcia's lawyer claims no theft at garage, just poor oversight

(Continued)

The spreadsheets show Garcia collected a total of $15,455 in sales for the monthly passes in July, August and September 2012, but just $1,840 in October, November and December of that year. The spreadsheets also show collections shot back up in the first three months of this year, to $14,410.

Nunes released the spreadsheets as part of his report but did not comment on them. Instead, he directed the city to hire an outside auditor to do a forensic audit of collections at the garage.

“Compared to other years, I don’t see anything unusual” in recent patterns for the sale of the monthly passes, Tabit said. “There are fluctuations, but there are fluctuations through the months and years all over the place. I don’t know how you determine that in a particular set of months, revenues are down and that somehow supports (allegations of) theft, when compared to other months and years they seem to be relatively consistent.”

Tabit also mocked allegations that a $100 bill with recorded serial numbers that FBI agents used to buy a parking pass never showed up in bank deposits by the garage.

“Has it ever occurred to anyone that people have to make change?” Tabit said. “Routinely, Mr. Garcia had to go to the bank and make change because he had to provide change in envelopes to other attendants at other lots and even needed change at the Museum Square garage.”

Parking attendants start their shifts with $200 in their drawers.

The allegations against Garcia were outlined in an affidavit state police filed in state Superior Court when Garcia was arrested. Stephen O’Connell, a spokesman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, would not comment on Tabit’s contention that sloppy management, not theft, is responsible for any lost revenue at the garage. Blodgett oversaw the team of state police detectives who conducted the investigation and he will now prosecute the case against Garcia.

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