FBI Investigating Hancock County Wastewater Facility - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

FBI Investigating Hancock County Wastewater Facility

The FBI is investigating the Southern Regional Wastewater facility in Hancock County.

Authorities won't say exactly what the focus is, but WLOX News has learned agents are going through wastewater records.

In addition to the investigation, the wastewater facility's administrator and maintenance director have both resigned.

Wastewater District Board members called a special meeting Tuesday night to clear up allegations made by former maintenance director Stu Craib and plant Administrator Bill Glover. In their resignation letters, they both claimed that board members ignored concerns they have about an expansion project.

The letters said the board "Rubber stamped advise and recommendations made to the board by consultants, engineers and contractors."

"I have a lot to say about all of these letters," engineer Herold Beard said. "Some of them are childish; most of them are wrong.:

Beard invented part of the new system being constructed at the plant, and he took issue with statements made by the former maintenance director that the $11 million upgrade would not increase the treatment capacity at the plant by a single gallon.

"His statement that you don't actually gain one gallon of capacity is absolutely false," Beard said. "You not only gain the half million gallon, but you gain a peak of four million gallons."

"Everybody's afraid that the plant doesn't have the capacity to accommodate what future growth is on the horizon," Wastewater Board Member Rocky Pullman said. "Right now we need to make sure that the general public understands that this plant was upgraded, but the capacity was increased if it was."

As for the investigation of the wastewater district, Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre confirmed the FBI is working the case, but he didn't know the focus of the probe.

"They've requested certain records," Mayor Favre said. "That's been provided. Anything else they ask for, we will provide, but as far as the scope or direction or anything else, we don't know."

Board members have called for a meeting later this week or earlier next week with DEQ officials. They approved the plant upgrade as well as helped fund it. The hope is to clear up the concerns raised as quickly as possible.

By Al Showers

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