Jackson employee on administrative leave for straight-piping, resident arrestedBy ANTHONY WARREN,
Jackson city officials confirmed today that one employee has been placed on administrative leave while one resident has been arrested for straight-piping, a method of stealing water by bypassing city water meters.
The name of the employee was not being released at press time. It was not known if that employee would be arrested or face charges.
Director of Communications Candice Cole declined to comment, saying the matter was a personnel issue. She would not confirm if that employee was a member of the water/sewer billing department.
In a statement, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said "the city is committed to ridding any level of fraud that is hurting our customers, whether that is recent litigation the city is purusing on a bad contract or whether it be corruption within our own departments or citizens who may be knowingly stealing water from our system."
Additionally, one city resident has been arrested for straight-piping and is being charged with felony grand larceny, according to officials.
That individual is Jessie Jones, Jr., 37. The straight-piping happened over a "substantial period of time," according to JPD's Twitter account.
Grand larceny occurs when there is theft of a $1,000 or more in cash or property.
Police say more arrests are expected.
News comes months after the city launched an investigation into its water sewer business department, citing potential fraud.
A picture of Jones is shown above.