City Workers Charged with Stealing Road Signs

More arrests expected in investigation of missing city property.

Thomas O’Brien, left, and Ivan Maxwell. (Credit: LBPD)
Thomas O’Brien, left, and Ivan Maxwell. (Credit: LBPD)

Two City of Long Beach employees were arrested in connection with stolen street and roadway signs.

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Thomas O’Brien, 26, and Ivan Maxwell, 28, were arrested and charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, the Long Beach Police Department announced Wednesday. Police said O’Brien and Maxwell stole 323 pounds of city-owned aluminum signs and took them to a local scrap metal yard, where they were paid $171 for the signs.

LBPD Commissioner Michael Tangney said police received a tip about the stolen signs and acted immediately to investigate the alleged theft.

“These two employees abused the taxpayers’ trust by stealing city property,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said in a statement about the arrests. “This type of behavior will never be tolerated, and the two employees have been fired.”

The city said the investigation into the stolen signs and other unidentified missing city property is ongoing and more arrests are expected.
Hamburger January 15, 2014 at 01:19 PM
On a possibly related note, what happened to the leftover Ipe lumber from the boardwalk
Sent from my Lear Jet January 15, 2014 at 05:13 PM
The City of LB as far as I know owns the ipe only after it is installed on the BW. Leftover stuff usually belongs to the contractor who bought it from a supplier. Unless something is in the contract giving/selling it to the City of LB, is in the contract documents, the contractor owns it.
Penquin January 15, 2014 at 05:26 PM
No, the leftover ipe can be found on brand new decks in the backyards of our local politicians and department heads
Jack January 15, 2014 at 06:03 PM
How about getting the people skimming cash at the Atlantic Beach Bridge?
Penquin January 15, 2014 at 06:15 PM
One thing at a time Jack. There is so much corruption, we have to prioritize.
joe January 15, 2014 at 06:22 PM
City should concentrate on the the big ripoffs like payroll fraud and theft of supplies and equipment. I know of one outside Dept that was closed on Dec 24th and everyone was paid. No revenue for the day just expenses. Of course the taxpayers always pay !!
Hamburger January 15, 2014 at 07:42 PM
Good point - be on the lookout for Ipe decks in the coming months/years
Penquin January 15, 2014 at 08:17 PM
Its too bad these guys who sold the aluminum got only 1/2 its value per lb. Should have sold to Rick on "Pawn Stars!" (maybe) Proceeds won't even pay for a portion of bail.
Penquin January 15, 2014 at 09:08 PM
Bayshore? Can you tell us more? Another twist in the plot? We all have to get together and consolidate these crimes. What country is this again? Where is Dennis Rodman when we need him
Penquin January 15, 2014 at 09:09 PM
Jack, what happened to your historical comment about LBMC - it's gone. Also thank you for all the history you've shared. It makes a lot of sense that building on Broadway next to the beach leaves little room for the ocean to recede or absorb into the sand. Never thought about it before you wrote
Bob West January 16, 2014 at 12:17 AM
Jeez, sorry I missed that stuff about LBMC. I think we've only scratched the surface of what's gone on there all these years. Honestly, I'm glad these sign-stealing guys got caught, just because some local Government employees are used to being able to steal right in plain sight- and I mean City, County, and TOH. But I certainly agree with how it's only the small fish who get caught. Guaranteed they were doing this on the clock, and someone was supposed to be supervising them. BTW, that charge against them is just a Class A Misdemeanor. Speaking of the big crimes out in the open- the City-hired contractor is *still* working on rebuilding that tiny city parking lot next to King's, the job the City's paying $64K for (undoubtedly cost over-runs to follow.) I can't even remember when this started- the summer??? They've spent all this time rebuilding the decorative (and useless and dangerous) brick wall around this lot. 2 or 3 guys out there all day, every day, piling up one decorative block at a time. The view-obstructing wall seems done, and just now they're starting to work on the asphalt parking lot- just very small parts. Winter is not a good time to lay down hot asphalt, so they may just stretch this into the spring. And of course, all the old decorative blocks are gone, though there was nothing wrong with them except they'd fallen over. The old ones were actually a nicer, lighter color. Since this job was contracted out, at least those expensive blocks might not be in a politician's yard. They've probably already been re-sold to some new McMansion going up on the Bay. You know, sometimes aged brick is worth more than the new stuff. It was undoubtedly better quality. So, $171 City dollars were saved from theft, while the $64,000 farce continues to drain money in plain sight on Beech St. And undoubtedly, dozens of other projects like this are happening throughout Nassau County.
Love This City January 16, 2014 at 06:23 AM
The old "switch-a-roo" - Schnirman wants us ALL to watch his left hand, pointing to the 2 low level thieves they caught, while in his right hand he is attempting to STEAL lifetime health benefits for himself, his family and ONLY people he and his political party cronies decide are worthy enough for lifetime health coverage.
Sent from my Lear Jet January 16, 2014 at 06:39 AM
LTC: You hit the nail on the head with your post. Another point to consider is the amounts of $$$$$ political bosses can shake down job seekers for in exchange for jobs where you get lifetime health care in so little time on the payroll. Sounds like the return to the days of Phil Kohut.
danny-boy January 16, 2014 at 07:53 AM
I've been wondering what happened to the TONS of aluminum from the boardwalk. I may even have a photo showing it missing before the contract was let to re-build. Anyone have the contract? What was the contract award date? I can check the date on the photo. It could have been specified, as part of the work, that salvage materials are the property of the contractor. I wouldn't bet on it.
Hamburger January 16, 2014 at 08:06 AM
How can there be this level of "tone-deafness" from our leadership? The belief that this "give 5 years of service get free health benefits for life" concept is even remotely a good idea given national economic trends, and especially now, on the backs of the taxpayers of a community still recovering from Sandy, is ludicrous. Why now?
Penquin January 16, 2014 at 09:07 AM
It's a total slap in the face. Schnirman is not finishing his term, has admitted he is eligible for the benefit. That's why now. No one gives a crap about us. Danny-Boy - shortly after Sandy, vans would stop near the boardwalk and the apt buildings at night - probably to steal salvage. The police were interested when I reported one nearby.
Hamburger January 16, 2014 at 09:57 AM
I am almost certain that all that railing from the old BW is stacked up in a lot on the West side of the LB bridge, LB side of channel. You can see it from the road coming off the bridge. Or could. Or maybe, now, not for long.
Penquin January 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM
“These two employees abused the taxpayers’ trust by stealing city property,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said in a statement about the arrests. “This type of behavior will never be tolerated, and the two employees have been fired.” WHAT AN FN HYPOCRITE! SINCE WHEN DOES HE CARE ABOUT STEALING FROM THE TAXPAYERS. WHO IS GOING TO FIRE HIM?
Long Beach Lou January 16, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Hamburger, if there is anything from the old boardwalk left, its technically property of FEMA as it is supposed to be salvaged by them to offset the cost of the new boardwalk.
larry teague January 16, 2014 at 01:25 PM
comical. the Pipsqueak and the Clown. fighting crime all over LB. when the Pipsqueak blatantly lied on his resume, where was the Clown? Oh yes, he was under his desk with the Pipsqueak writing up a contract in violation of city rules. what happened to the underage drinkfest at the teen center? maybe the dem leader or the Clown, or both had relatives there? underage? maybe the Clown's son and the drug business should have been investigated? maybe the $33k that "disappeared" from the rec commissioner's desk should have been investigated? maybe the storm contracts? maybe the "grants" that the council person "writes" for his buddies (does he get paid for this?).. let's go after the guys selling scrap metal. now lon beach is definitely a safer place. thanks Clown
Penquin January 16, 2014 at 05:21 PM
CP January 16, 2014 at 06:09 PM
Collecting over-time as a exempt employee is stealing? If you are not entitled to it and you take it, your stealing.
Noway Jose January 16, 2014 at 10:23 PM
Lambchop, The supt is definitely not an old crony. Rather he's an old phony.
Penquin January 16, 2014 at 11:43 PM
and full of bologna
larry teague January 17, 2014 at 01:02 AM
lear jet is right. not phil kohut. phil was smart. you mean his retard nephew who's shaking down businessmen. he thinks he's the second coming. "hey Harvey!!!!!!!"
Sent from my Lear Jet January 18, 2014 at 09:16 AM
A week or two ago there was a post on PATCH describing a host of alleged wrongdoing by city employees. After 24 hours it disappeared never to be seen again. No explanation was given about who took it down, PATCH or the original poster (either one may do it). I saved it while it was up and am reposting it as in might be somehow related to to the case of the two guys arrested for stealing aluminum owned by the City of LB. I have no idea of weather the allegations made in the post are true or false nor do I know any of the city employees involved, nor the original poster. I deleted the only name actually appearing in the original post--it is so marked. Happy reading__________________________ Advertise on Patch Blog | Poison In Long Beach Flag as Inappropriate From the HUD to Beach Maintenance Posted by John Frank , January 05, 2014 at 11:23 AM 9 Comments 6 Recommend 0 1 0 Popular Stories Arrest Made in Murder of Man Found Shot in Car Nearby Cops: Four Charged in Fake Property Sale Scheme Long Beach Movie Theatre Cuomo: Major Highways May Shut Down Ahead of Blizzard This first blog is about the Head of Beach Maintenance, DELETED. For years this individual has been taking advantage of our city and its residents with overtime, theft of city property, heavy opiate drug use and involvement in a scam that involves a lead man at the HUD and 2 LB Fireman. After the storm, combination hot water heater/boilers were coming through the HUD, some units brokered by DELETED and being installed by 2 LB Fireman at triple the price. Tax free purchasing and in hindsight, taking from the super poor (residents who live in the federal housing system) to make themselves money. These units are most likely installed in these individuals houses for free I might add. So many of these Baxi units were sold and installed, that these individuals were sent on a cruise, with their families, for free by the company. Federal investigation pending! For years, this Dept. Head has been misusing his authority for overtime and padding the books. Over a year later, this Dept. Head bleeds us dry with Sandy Related overtime costs that we are footing the bill for. Forcing union employees to sign papers saying that they would not turn down overtime for any reason. If they didn't sign, they were to be dealt with in a "back of the bus" type manner. This is obviously a union constitution violation of bylaws. There is video on employees phones of this man in an opiate induce sleep, on the job in his office at Beach Maintenance. Countless times of driving incidents with him having fender benders, under the influence and driving near the recreation center and the beaches where our kids are playing daily. Right After the Storm ... Stealing plumbing fixtures and material from the city and having city plumbers install the fixtures and do work on his house, On the clock... on City Time! You hear of many instances of regular guys and groups stepping up and doing the right thing and helping out people, then you hear of the disgusting acts of low lives who take advantage of the poor, steal from others, taking liberties with drug use and misuse of their authority to get ahead. Investigations need to made and this should not be taken lightly.
laura bryan January 19, 2014 at 09:16 PM
The two city employees who made money by selling scrap out of their Dept,I ask the question who and where was the supervisor of that Dept. should he or she be fired. Now take every Dept.in the city hall , sanitation, recreation, beach park, high way, garage, water, sewer, city hall it self as a Dept.ask these e question of responsibility ,where is the scrap steel ,cooper, iron, aluminum, brass stainless, lead,fittings, batteries, Etc....especially after the storm, can every Dept head show proof of where their scrap went too. If not the manager must fire all involved or step down himself.
Penquin January 20, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Hi Laura - I really like your post. There is no control over this city - and I wish we had a major audit from the top down.
laura bryan January 20, 2014 at 09:52 PM
This administration shall be responsible for all monies coming into this city ,even if its scrap metal .your talking big money ,into the millions.we need as tax payers a total readout of every dept. in the city ok mr. Manager,earn your keep.
Robert January 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM


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