News Briefs: Utility Employees Admit to Taking $20,000 in Bribes to Reduce Water Bills

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a water supervisor faces felony charges for tampering with his city's main meter; and the mayor of Santa Fe is criticized for his exorbitant water use

A pair of employees currently suspended from working at the New Brunswick (New Jersey) Water Department admitted to taking more than $20,000 in bribes for reducing water and sewer bills for approximately 50 properties.

For enacting the scheme that cost the city around $500,000, a senior account clerk and a meter reader pleaded guilty to official misconduct and face sentences of five years in state prison, including two years without parole.

The men also lost their jobs and pensions and are banned from public work in the future.


Water Supervisor Faces Multiple Felonies for Tampering With District's Main Meter

The theme this week seems to be “play stupid games, win stupid prizes,” as KFVS News out of Mississippi reports a Mississippi County Public Water District supervisor is facing multiple felonies to tampering with the district’s main water meter.

The man, Kyle Hutcheson, of East Prairie is facing six counts of tampering with a utility meter in the second degree.

Court documents allege that Hutcheson removed the main meter head on a number of occasions to rewind it and disguise multiple water leaks in the county he didn’t want to fix. As a result, water purchased from the city of East Prairie and the city of Charleston wasn’t being read or billed properly.

Source: KFVS News

Santa Fe Mayor Criticized for Exorbitant Water Use After Telling Residents to Conserve

The mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is facing criticism after it was discovered his household uses eight times the city's average amount of water. The information was released on the heels of Mayor Alan Webber’s challenge to city residents to reduce their water consumption and shoot for the title of the “most water-wise municipality in the nation.”

He says in a statement that it is important to make “sustainability a part of everything we do, especially where water is involved." But then came the open records request that showed his water use is much higher than his neighbors and continuing to rise.

“When it comes to water, I need to do better,” Webber writes in a statement to The New Mexican. “I encouraged people to conserve water; I need to do better, too.”

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

National Organization Holds 'Just Clean It Jamboree' in Flint

An organization called the National Clean Water Collective recently teamed up with residents of Flint, Michigan, to help reduce the stigma around the city’s water.

In an event called the Just Clean It Jamboree, the group hosted water treatment operators discussing long-term solutions to Flint’s water issues and welcomed local celebrities and musicians for the public.

“Unfortunately, Flint is on the wrong side of history with water, but I think that with education programs and good technology we can change that,” one attendee tells NBC 25 News.

Source: NBC 25 News


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