Wednesday, December 16, 2015

JPD arrests two city employees for water theft and bootleggin'. (Updated)

Update: JPD issued a press release that is posted below. 

JPD arrested two employees in the department of Public Works for water theft yesterday.  JPD Chief Lee Vance estimated the amount of the theft to be $14,000. It seems the two employees were running a "hook me up program" as they would keep water service flowing to paying customers- customers who were paying them instead of the city after they received cutoff notices.  Mayor Tony Yarber announced the arrests last night at the regular meeting of the City Council. 

Mayor Yarber said meter readers were approaching elderly and other customers and telling them they would keep their water service turned on for "a fee".  He said there were incidents of "straight-piping" and other theft as "far back as 1978."   He said an additional twenty to thirty public works employees might be terminated.  He said  more arrests were pending.

JPD Chief Lee Vance said his officers arrested Marcus Banks for felony embezzlement in the "amount of approximately $14,000 of theft that dates back to the year 2008.".  JPD also arrested Percy Watkins for a misdemeanor charge of embezzlement.  Chief Vance said the amount of the alleged embezzlement had not yet been determined but the misdemeanor charge could be upgraded to a felony charge when it is determined.  He said there were also other employees who were selling "bootlegged"* water services at various locations in Jackson (Here comes the Cable Guy jokes.).   He said there might be two more arrests today.

Councilman Dekeither Stamps literally applauded the Mayor "for taking swift and decisive action."  Stamps said some people had been paying these people for so long that they thought they were supposed to leave $20 in the water meter box every  month. 

*JJ's choice of word, not Chief Vance's.


Anonymous said...

Drop in the pun intended.

Follow the $90m meter cash....that is where the big fish are.

Anonymous said...

If they really want to solve Jackson water problems they might look at the city employees that caused the majority of the water problems. The thieves should be locked up and the key thrown in one of the pot holes in Jackson streets.
As long as city employees are hired because of who they know instead of what they know there will always be scum working for the city.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mayor Yarber!!! Keep at it!

Anonymous said...

It's about time. Hopefully they will continue to crack down on water theft. Maybe the city can collect enough revenue to keep the ancient infrastructure limping along.

Anonymous said...

Probably got ratted out once they realized the city wouldn't cut their water off if they didn't pay.

Anonymous said...

How much has the City stolen/wasted with the water leak on Woodrow Wilson by Murrah over the past two months? Probably approaching $14k in water alone not to mention the road work they will eventually have to do, if they even will do that.

Anonymous said...

So, 3:14 PM, does the Woodrow Wilson leak mean that thieves should not be accountable? I fail to see the equivalency. There would be a whole lot more money to fix things if those using water would pay for water. I should say City Services which include sewer charges and garbage pick-up charges, both of which are very expensive.

Anonymous said...

About time indeed! Hope many more arrests coming. A lot of dishonest customer straight pipers need to be put in jail too. Keep on it Mayor!

Formerly known as Slippery when Wet said...

2 arrested, 20 to 30 more suspects. These people need to be handled under the Attorney General' Vulnerable Adults unit to insure they never get the opportunity to open a box of bisquick in a Farish Street establishment in the future.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! I could write better copy than this when I was in jr high. The grammatical errors in the press release make my brain hurt.

Anonymous said...

Come on. These two people who were caught we not hired for their knowledge, honesty, work ethics, or experience. They were just doing what they thought was right, stealing.

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