Jackson mayor releases statement on internal water billing investigation
Mayor Lumumba's statement in full:
“While we have a duty and responsibility to defend and protect our citizens from external entities that attempt to take advantage of the City, we must also do our due diligence to investigate and eradicate impropriety from within.
The relationship between this Administration, the employees of the City of Jackson, and the citizens of Jackson must be built upon a foundation of trust.
Our citizens and business owners have the right to believe that this Administration and City employees are trustworthy.
It is my duty as Mayor to inform you that we have initiated an investigation into alleged activities that may have violated public trust, caused harm to the City of Jackson, and may have been criminal.
While it is being determined how widespread these practices may be, we have information indicating that a number of employees may be involved.
This investigation will be a thorough, exhaustive look into any malfeasance on the part of City employees within the Water Sewer Business Administration.
The employees who have worked in a trustworthy manner have the right to an honest reputation and those who have violated the public trust must be removed.
Employees who have performed their job consistent with the City of Jackson Employee Code of Conduct have no reason to fear this investigation. Consequently, employees who have violated the public trust have no reason to believe they will escape the consequences of their actions.
The results of this investigation will be shared with the City of Jackson Police Department and the Internal Audit Department.
Evidence of criminal activity will be shared by the Police Department with the Hinds County District Attorney, the Mississippi State Auditor, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for prosecution by local, state, and federal authorities.
This investigation comes at a time when the Water and Sewer Business Administration Department is making substantial progress. And while it is unfortunate, it is necessary that we conduct this investigation now so that together- we can complete the task of ensuring that our metering and billing system works the way it was intended.
The employees of the City of Jackson will move forward together in a way that restores the trust and confidence of our citizens and businesses.”