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Horn Lake Woman Was 30 Days Late For A $30 Bill

4:10 PM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
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  • CBS NEWS/WREG
  • CBS NEWS/WREG
    

HORN LAKE, MS -- Sharon Roberts sure felt like a thief Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement showed up at her office and handed her a ticket, charging her with theft for not paying a sewer bill.

She was 30 days late, and that's committing a crime in Horn Lake.

She'd have to appear before a judge, all for not paying a bill.

We went to the head of the Public Works Department, which stands by calling Roberts a criminal for not paying her bill on time.

"Theft of public utilities is getting a city service and not paying for it," said Spencer Shields, Public Works Director.

He says the charges are for what goes down the drain, and there's no way to turn that off.

He found an ordinance, which is likely written for those who tap into cable and electricity lines.

The mayor and some aldermen couldn't answer that question and understood Sharon Roberts' frustration over her 30-day-late bill, which was only $23.

The Public Service Commission of Mississippi finds the practice unfair, and they too question it's legality.

But they said they can't force Horn Lake to stop doing it within city limits.

Their lawyers still spoke with the city lawyer about the practice.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is also looking into the legality of Horn Lake's practices.

CBS NEWS/WREG

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