As many as five Lincoln City Pacific Power employees have been dismissed from their duties over alleged improprieties designed for financial benefit, sources said.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon confirming the firings, Pacific Power Media Spokesman Tom Gauntt said:
“Pacific Power dismissed several Lincoln City personnel on Friday, April 26. While it is Pacific Power’s policy not to comment on matters involving employee dismissals, we want to assure our Lincoln City area customers that these changes will not impact the quality and reliability of the service they expect and count on.”
Gauntt said Pacific Power would have no further comment at this time.
According to sources, the linemen, who have not been charged, were terminated after a private investigator followed them for three to four months when the company was tipped off to the possibility of illegal activity in the Lincoln City area.
The alleged activities include falsifying time cards, having friends call in fake power outages, turning off transformers in the middle of the night, and extending work time devoted to fixing outages to accrue overtime.
Some of the linemen were also found to allegedly be using work trucks to perform various duties on their rental properties, sources said. A source said Pacific Power has replaced the employees with workers from the Willamette Valley and those who remain do not work on power lines.
Pacificorp advertised on its website at the time of the dismissals to fill openings for journeyman linemen “to maintain and repair all transmission and distribution electrical systems and associated equipment, both overhead and underground, while utilizing line trucks, aerial boom, lifts and wire pulling equipment.”
The Lincoln City electricians are members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 659.