City Fires Tire Manager in Scrap Tire Investigation - Tire Review Magazine

City Fires Tire Manager in Scrap Tire Investigation

Austin, Texas, officials formally fired the former manager of the city’s tire disposal program as a criminal investigation of the manager’s actions has heated up.

According to the Austin American Statesman, a city investigation found the manager had violated conduct standards by allegedly giving $40,000 to the owner of Vic’s Tire Service, the company contracted to collect and dispose of scrapped city tires.

The fired manager, Bill Janousek, reportedly claims the money was a loan to Victor Almaguer, owner of Vic’s Tire Service, while Almaguer claims it was hush money remain silent about “illegal activities regarding tire contracts," according to the newspaper.

Janousek, who denies the allegations, had been on paid administrative leave since December when questions about tire disposal practices first surfaced.

The newspaper did state that the, “‘illegal activities’ claim was not specifically cited as contributing to the firing, and the investigation report does not elaborate on it. City officials said that the report addresses violations of city policy and that separate but related criminal investigations are being handled by the Travis County district attorney and Austin Police Department.”

Back in December, an estimated 6,000 scrap tires were found at the tire shop, which Almaguer, who had a contract to repair and service tires on city vehicles, claimed he had been directed by Janousek to collect and store. Almaguer was demanding a $50,000 payment to dispose of the tires, which launched a city investigation of the situation and the contract.

According to the newspaper, “Janousek told investigators he paid Almaguer $10,000 in cash and $30,000 by check about 18 months ago because Almaguer was dying and needed money to pay his medical bills and home mortgage. Almaguer told investigators Janousek paid him $34,000, including $10,000 cash, ‘to keep his mouth shut about his continued involvement in the contracts,’ according to the report.”

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