A Lebanon Gas Department worker resigned recently amid allegations he stole natural gas at his home for about the last nine years and could face charges.
City attorney Andy Wright confirmed the incident Wednesday involving Clark Caplenor.
“We received an anonymous tip that a gas department employee had tampered with his gas meter at his home,” Wright said. “We did an internal investigation and then turned the investigation over to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department.”
Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan confirmed a Lebanon city worker was under investigation for apparent theft of services, but he said the worker was not charged.
“I have not spoken to anyone at the sheriff’s department, but I have been told the employee did admit to tampering with his meter,” Wright said.
Wright said once the apparent theft was discovered, city managers stepped in to talk to Caplenor.
“[Commissioner of Public Works] Jeff Baines called the employee in and was given the option of either resigning or being terminated should he be brought up on charges,” Wright said. “He chose to resign.”
Wright said he expects the case to be presented to a Wilson County grand jury in September.
“From what I have been told, he’s been doing it since 2004,” Wright said.
Wright said the case was turned over to the sheriff’s department because Caplenor lives just outside the Lebanon city limits in Wilson County.
Meanwhile, Wright said city officials are working to place a monetary value on the apparent stolen natural gas.
“I’m going to ask that restitution be part of any plea agreement, if he’s charged,” Wright said. “I’d like to give the district attorney’s office a figure for restitution. We are going to try and get it as close as possible.”