After WREG report, MLGW reverses charges for customer living with no utilities

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When Andre Smith and his girlfriend Kimberly went before a judge Thursday morning it was to fight an eviction and fine from their South Memphis apartment.

The apartment owner wants them to pay more than $3,200 for rent and utilities and wants them out .

"$3,237, I don't feel like I should have to pay that. Yeah, I feel like I shouldn't have to pay that," said Smith.

He said the South Memphis apartment where the couple lives hasn't had legitimate power since they moved in last December.

As WREG first reported Wednesday, the manager said they were working on the utilities and admitted to running electrical cords from another unit to power their apartment.

Code enforcement pulled the plug on that.

But the apartment still has no electricity, and for last month it hasn't had gas.

To top it off, Smith says he now has a $1,500 MLGW  bill for stolen utilities and diversion charges, even though utilities were never in his name.

"When I went down to Memphis Light Gas and Water, they told me I couldn't get no lights because the unit had been closed down more than 10 years. So when I came back to them, they told me to give them a week. That's when they bootlegged the lights," said Smith.

But after the story aired on WREG, we were able to give him some good news.

MLGW told us after our report they reviewed the case and things are going to work out for Mr. Smith on their end. They are reversing the charges for Mr. Smith because it was the landlord's responsibility to fix the electricity.

The attorney for the landlord was in court Thursday too, pushing to collect that $3,200 and evict Smith.

He had nothing to say to us about fixing the utilities.

"The press will do this city a lot more good if ya'll would cover decent things," the attorney told us as he walked away.

The judge told both sides to come back to court July 26th for a trial on the eviction.

Smith says not having to pay the MLGW bill will help him and his girlfriend move forward.


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