(Horn Lake, MS) Horn Lake has come under fire for its practice of issuing citations to people not paying their utility bills.
It forced Sharon Roberts to face a judge and explain why she was 30 days late.
She could have ended up in jail.
Roberts complained to Mississippi’s Public Service Commission, and Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley agreed that the move was a little harsh.
Presley says it’s OK to shut somebody off for non-payment, but you shouldn’t throw them in jail.
”We informed the City of course that this practice did not conform with our regulations and ruled and it’s my understanding at that time, this was several weeks ago, that the practice had stopped.”
But that last part may not have actually happened.
Horn Lake Mayor Alan Latimer tells me he’s never heard of such a ruling or such a phone call. He says the move is necessary to make sure everyone pays their bill.
Besides, Presley admits, his order does not apply to the woman who complained, or to anyone who lives inside Horn Lake.
”Our position that’s relevant to the customers we have regulatory authority over, is customers outside one mile of the city limits.”
WREG sources have revealed Attorney General Jim Hood’s office has talked with Horn Lake about the problem too, and expressed its concern.
Horn Lake maintains non-payment amounts to theft, and that’s a crime.
You can expect Mayor Latimer to start asking a lot of questions at Horn Lake City Hall come Tuesday morning.