BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - The Washington County Sheriff's Office booked and released nine city of Bartlesville employees accused of embezzlement Friday.
Detectives say the city workers sold water scrap meters for profit to a recycling center in town.
Bartlesville city workers began replacing water meters in 2012 throughout the city due to an upgraded automated metering system. The old meters marked as "surplus" were supposed to be disposed of. Instead, the old water meters were found in a salvage yard.
Investigators opened up an investigation after Bartlesville's city manager received a complaint that the men were selling metal parts owned by the city .
According to court documents, an ABC recycling center employee told police he had been buying scrap metal from city workers while they were in city cars. A city of Bartlesville inventory check found 2,800 scrap water meters went missing.
The men were each held on $500 bond.