Troubled Waters for Local Utility

By Eric Clabaugh

May 27, 2011 Updated May 27, 2011 at 6:00 PM EDT

Indiana's NewsCenter (Fort Wayne, In)-The Maysville Water and Sewer District finds itself in deep water with state officials. But their troubles don't end there. The utility may also owe Fort Wayne City Utilities nearly $250,000.

The Indiana State Board of Accounts recently audited the Maysville Water and Sewer District after allegations of theft and other deceitful practices. But before we get into the allegations against the utility and it's Maintenance Operator, and explanation is needed.

The Fort Wayne Public Utilities takes all of the waste and sewage water from the Maysville Water and Sewer District and treats it for them. A meter reads how much raw sewage comes from that district and a bill is sent to the Maysville District.

The first allegation to come out of the audit against the district relates to that meter and raw sewage. The audit alleges James Perrin, the former President of the water board and current Maintenance Operator, by-passed the flow of raw sewage around the meter. The audit says this practice began in late 2007 and happened off and on through late 2010. Early estimates indicate Perrin may have by-passed up to nearly $250,000 worth of raw sewage during that span.

Perrin is also accused of purchasing nearly $8,000 worth of items not related to the job and charging the district another $8,000 for a water pump he later admitted to not buying. Perrin has since returned the money for the pump, with interest, to the utility.

Fort Wayne city officials say they will pursue monetary reinstatement from the Maysville Water and Sewer Utility for the raw sewage that was by-passed for nearly three years.

It's not clear is civil or criminal charges will be filed against Perrin. That is up to state officials and the Allen County Prosecutor's Office.

This story is still developing. We will update it as new information becomes available.

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