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3 Andalusia Water Department Employees Under Investigation


ANDALUSIA, AL - Two employees of Andalusia's Water and Sewer Department have been terminated and another is on unpaid administrative leave.

Mayor Early Johnson released the information in a news conference Tuesday. Two weeks ago, the mayor disclosed he had launched an investigation into the conduct of the department.

The investigation revealed $28,000 in inappropriate spending. The mayor did not specify what the money was spent on.

A department head and an assistant department head have been terminated. A supervisor is on administrative leave.

New policies have been established to ensure this type of action doesn't happen again.

The Covington County District Attorneys office has taken over the investigation.

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The Office of the District Attorney readily accepts Mayor Earl Johnson’s request to adopt the investigation into the irregularities at the City of Andalusia Utilities Department. In addition to committing our own investigators, we will enlist the aid of the Alabama Bureau of Investigations and the Alabama Ethics Commission in this endeavor. We intend to enlist the services of a forensic accountant to help us to cipher this information so that full and successful prosecutions of any and all wrongdoers can be had. To that end, we appreciate Mayor Johnson’s pledge of full cooperation from the Andalusia Police Department and all affiliated city entities.

"Over the last two and a half years, I have found myself called to investigate and prosecute a mayor, a utilities clerk, various other public employees, and now this. We will not shy away from the task at hand. We will identify what the problem is and hold the wrongdoers accountable. I also intend to issue a full report to an executive session of the Utilities Board at the conclusion of this investigation and detail for them not only the nature of any criminal scheme that may exist, but also any problems pertaining to oversight and checks and balances which ought to be addressed," states District Attorney Walt Merrell.

No further statement will be made to the media by anyone involved in this investigation until arrests are made or indictments are issued.

Erin Wilson
22nd Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office


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