Jackson City Workers stealing water services at their residences - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson City Workers stealing water services at their residences

Percy James Watkins (Source: JPD) Percy James Watkins (Source: JPD)
Marcus Banks (Source: JPD) Marcus Banks (Source: JPD)
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Tuesday two City of Jackson employees were arrested and charged with stealing water. 

In a news conference late Tuesday evening, Mayor Tony Yarber and Police Chief Lee Vance said 20 to 30 other city workers are under investigation and could be fired.

The two arrested were employed in the Public Works Department and were identified as 35-year-old Marcus Banks and 48-year-old Percy James Watkins.

Banks is charged with felony embezzlement for water theft of $14,000 dating back to 2008. 

Percy Watkins is charged with misdemeanor embezzlement for now. Those charges could be upgraded.

JPD Officer Colendula Green said the two men were stealing water services at their residences. And the employees are classified as Water Service Representatives in the City of Jackson Public Works Division. Their job duties included installing and removing water meters.

Green said JPD's Property Crime Division responded to the employees’ residence because of a complaint filed by the Director of Public Works, Keisha Powell.

"There was indeed some gross behavior, disgusting behavior that was happening," said the Mayor. "Not just that kind of behavior, but also where city employees were straight piping. There were documents that show that as far back as 1970 that this behavior was happening."

The city and JPD have been looking into complaints from customers, many of them elderly about city workers who have taking money from them to keep their water on.

JPD Officer Colendula Green said additional arrests are possible, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Anyone with additional information relating to water theft crimes is asked to cal Crime Stoppers at (601) 355-8477 or the Jackson Police Department at (601) 960-1234.

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