What do I do after being accused of criminal activity at work?
May 6, 2014 6:08 PM Subscribe
What do I do after being accused of criminal activity at work? Thank god I was able to prove my innocence. All fake names.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (57 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I've worked at this company for 15 years. Started as a temp, now sort of an office/operations manager. I've tried to be brief, sorry about the length.
About a year ago, with permission, I bought art for our conference room at work (on my own time & with the corporate credit card). I also bought a piece for myself, using my personal credit card. I hung my art behind my desk at work.
About 6 months ago my company hired a guy named Mike and he started working out of our office. He's higher up on the ladder than me, but I don't report to him or work for him in any way.
About a week ago I came in and the art was no longer behind my desk; it was hanging in a common area. I figured that the building staff must've moved it so I moved it back.
The next day Mike asked me why I had moved the art back behind my desk. I explained that it was a personal purchase of mine.
Yesterday morning I was called into my boss's office and Mike was there. He had gone through our corporate credit card records and found that a piece of art matching the description of my art was purchased with the corporate credit card. He was accusing me of lying, and of using the corporate credit card for personal use. I explained that I'd have to look at the credit card receipts, but my guess was that a piece of art from the conference room was the one he was seeing because they were similar, but not exact.
I went to my desk to check my physical copies of receipts and fortunately I'd filed my personal receipt with the receipts from the work art. There was still a sticker on the back of my art and the UPC matched exactly with the receipt from my personal credit card so I had 100% proof that it was mine.
But he went on! He asked what I was doing in my coworker Amy's desk a few days prior. He had seen me use a key to open her drawer and remove something. I have keys to everyone's desks; that isn't a secret. At this point I looked at my boss in disbelief and she looked a little embarrassed. I told them I would forward the email from Amy asking me to open her drawer, grab her flash drive and email her something while she was working remotely.
He had one more. He had seen me go to Mary's desk, pick up a piece of mail and open it, start to pull out what looked like a check, and then return to my desk with the mail. At this point I was utterly furious. That scenario is something that happens all the time. Mary is one of a few people in the office who receives checks, and she asks me to let her know every time she receives mail if she's not in the office. Occasionally if she's expecting something specific she'll ask me to open the mail, & if it's from Joe Bob or whoever, I should take the check and forward it for processing and let her know. I also log all these checks as required. So I had proof in the form of an email from Mary that specifically asked me to do that, and I had the check log which I had already filled out & dated, and I had fedex tracking from when I mailed the check. I provided those to my boss and Mike.
During this whole conversation, Mike was ice cold, accusatory, and rude. He never inquired politely, he sneered, demanded answers, and barked out accusations. ("Where's that check you took from Mary?") The end of the conversation was basically "well ok, I guess we're done here." I don't think so.
Mike clearly got pissy about the art & then basically watched my every move for a week. That's creepy as hell. I asked my boss what she was going to do, and she asked me what I wanted her to do. Mike has a totally different chain of command than we do.
What can or should I expect here? What should I do? I sort of want him fired - is that reasonable? He's higher up than my own boss.
People know this meeting happened, and they are looking at me weird. I feel like there's a cloud of suspicion around me but I'm 100% innocent of any wrongdoing. I'm so embarrassed. Should/can I ask for a public (in front of the office) apology from Mike?
I'm already looking for jobs. Market is brutal, no interviews yet & I don't expect to find anything soon.