WA wildlife employee fired, allegedly bought $80K in fuel for personal use

The IT worker allegedly used current and former employee PIN numbers to make charges to the card that was meant for fueling a boat.

A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employee has been fired for allegedly charging $80,000 in fuel for his personal vehicle over the last eight years

Staff at WDFW were shocked to learn that Bob Woodard. 47, an internet technology specialist with the Region 5 fish program and a 25-year employee, had been misusing a state fuel card meant for a boat.

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Officials caught on when another employee went looking for the card and found it missing from the boat. That employee alerted the WDFW Fiscal Office. It discovered Woodard was allegedly using PIN numbers that belonged to past and current employees.

The WDFW incident report states investigators obtained gas station footage showing the card being used to fuel Woodard's personal vehicle.

The charges allegedly date back to 2010.

"I'm shocked. It's very disappointing," said David Giglio, WDFW assistant director for business operations. He's in charge of tightening oversight after this incident. Giglio says they were planning a review of this exact issue, but now are speeding up the process in light of what they've learned.

“The first thing we’re going to do is make sure the process is simple. The simpler it is, the easier it is for people to comply and for us to find errors. The second thing we need to do is make sure that our staff know what the rules and requirements are and take the proper care of their purchasing cards so that the cards are secure. And lastly we need to have an analytics system some kind of tool, a software application, that lets us look at all the data we have and let us find purchases that are out of line with the work that’s happening," Giglio said.

Before this, employees only had to go through a supervisor for equipment purchases. Now, they will have to seek reimbursement for fuel purchases, too.

The case is now with the Cowlitz County prosecutor's office. The state hopes to file theft charges.

KING 5's Travis Pittman contributed to this report.