Seven Atlanta watershed employees indicted on charges they stole - CBS46 News

Seven Atlanta watershed employees indicted on charges they stole, sold copper

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Seven employees of Atlanta's Watershed Department face charges they stole copper from the job and sold it for more than $163,000 in cash.

Back in February 2014, Councilwoman Felicia Moore pushed for an audit of the city's Watershed Department. Moore suspected reported theft from the department was an inside job.

"We are losing millions of dollars of equipment and materials," Moore told CBS46.  

The Fulton County District attorney's office said Friday that Reginald White, Charles Edwards, Larry Tyler, Antonio Denson, William Spaulding, Aaron Avery and Corey Green have all been charged with theft by conversion by a government employee.

The indictment alleges an internal investigation found that had been occurring within the Watershed Department Facilities between 2009 and 2015.

During that time, investigators discovered the seven defendants received a total of $163,091.50 in cash payments from a scrap yard in Smyrna for copper, copper tubing, red and yellow brass and water meters.

The items were owned by the City of Atlanta.

It would take officials five years after the start of the investigation to find the scrap yard that purchased the stolen material. When they did, the establishment's reports connected the defendants to the stolen items.

In 2015, a CBS46 camera rolled as four city workers were arrested at their job site, busted for stealing copper. In all, a dozen employees in total were fired.

The head of the Watershed Department, Jo Ann Macrina, also was let go in May 2016.

“We choose to go our separate ways,” said Mayor Kasim Reed explained.

If convicted, each defendant could each face up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.00.

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