Public Utilities Dept. under scrutiny

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

An ongoing probe into the city’s Department of Public Utilities’ billing practices resulted in several employees being put on paid administrative leave last week.

Assistant City Manager Cynthia Rohlf on Tuesday confirmed that for the past month, the city has been investigating allegations relating to policies and procedures the department uses to bill residents receiving city water and sewer service.


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Rohlf would not say how many employees are involved in the investigation. However, she confirmed that employees from other city departments have stepped in to help fill the void in public utilities.

Also, she refused to say whether any money was missing or to discuss any other details of the investigation.

Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department, also refused to discuss it, referring all questions to Dana Woodson, the city’s public information officer.

The Virginia State Police is not involved in the investigation, a department spokesman said

City Manager R. Steven Herbert stressed that no criminal charges have been filed.

He said it is standard practice for employees facing allegations of potential misconduct to be placed on paid leave while the incident is under investigation.