This is the latest twist in an ongoing NewsChannel 5 investigation into problems surrounding the Cleveland Water Department. We have discovered more employees have been fired for stealing water.
So far, there have been nine water department employees terminated and city reps told us their investigation is not over.
The nine employees were meter readers, field crew workers, dispatchers, even administrative staff, all found to have tampered with their water meters and, essentially, stealing water.
Department reps said it all started when the Automated Meter Reading system, or AMR, red flagged an account that just so happened to be a water department employee. Then, an internal investigation turned up the nine employees, but we found out today even more are being investigated and accused of similar violations.
Of course, all of this is happening during our investigations into extremely high water bills that some customers have said they were billed for water they never used.
"I've never had any water. I have never solicited any water for this building. Nor have I ever had had any water,” said customer Francisco Vazquez.
"How can I be getting a water bill when I still have my well and no pipes down to the house or anything?" asked customer Mary Griffiths.
Some customers told us they feel like they're being robbed by the department, and now actual water department employees have been cited for stealing water.
In addition to losing their jobs, reps told us there are fines that need to be paid all associated with the violations.
We will stay on top of this and your questionable water bills.