DC Water Supervisor Faces Prison Sentence

Permit supervisor pleads guilty to felony conflict-of-interest charges for steering fees to own company

A supervisor with the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority pled guilty March 30 to a federal conflict-of-interest charge for approving permits for work applications prepared by his own private company.

Londra Watson, 53, pled guilty to a felony charge of criminal conflict of interest. The charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Watson could face up to six months of incarceration and a fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 27.

Watson's responsibilities at DC Water included, among other things, supervising the processing of permit applications from applicants seeking to alter and make modifications to existing plumbing connections from DC Water lines to existing structures.

In November 2007, Watson started a company named Ardnol of DC LLC (his first name spelled backwards). Starting that month and continuing to February 2012, applicants seeking permits from DC Water provided checks totaling $141,066 to Watson’s company.

In return, the firm was to assist them in preparing design plans, permit applications, plumbing plans and utility plans, as well as DC Water “permit expediting” services. Many permit applicants were referred to Watson’s company by former clients who already had their permits approved by DC Water with the assistance of Ardnol of DC.

Once an applicant contacted his company, Watson advised that he would draft the complete permit package, including the necessary site plans and diagrams, and assured the applicant that the permit application would comply with format requirements and protocols.

Once the applicant paid Ardnol of DC its required fee, Watson prepared the complete permit package and delivered it to the client. The client then submitted the permit application to DC Water for approval. In his official capacity as a supervisor in the permit office, Watson approved, directly or indirectly through his subordinates, applications and issued DC Water permits to a number of applicants who were clients of his company. He intentionally failed to disclose his financial interest in the company to DC Water.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice


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