3 On Your Side: One on One exclusive with Jackson’s Mayor on FBI investigation into straight piping problems

3 On Your Side: One on One exclusive with Jackson’s Mayor on FBI investigation into straight piping problems
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba talks with us in a 3 On Your Side Exclusive One on One.

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - New information from Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. An investigation continues into those who are straight piping water and other agencies are now involved.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba discusses an investigation into straight piping water in the city. (Source: WLBT)
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba discusses an investigation into straight piping water in the city. (Source: WLBT)

In our 3 On Your Side Exclusive One on One with the Mayor he also gives us an update on the Jackson Zoo and the company with plans to move the park forward.

Mayor Lumumba met us at the Jackson Convention Complex . When we talked with the mayor in March he discussed the ongoing problem of straight piping water.

An investigation reveals there are thousands of people who are straight piping water costing the City of Jackson millions of dollars. (Source: WLBT)
An investigation reveals there are thousands of people who are straight piping water costing the City of Jackson millions of dollars. (Source: WLBT)

Mayor Lumumba said, "our estimate is that it could be as high as 15,000 or above in customers that have been stealing water."

Wednesday the Mayor talked with 3 On Your Side about an ongoing investigation that has now expanded to another agency.

"This investigation is at a high level. You know not only did we become concerned after learning certain things, the FBI you know expressed some concern in wanting to walk along in this investigation. But we're gonna get it straight."

While Mayor Lumumba says he is limited on what he can say about the investigation he makes it clear the city is going after those who are taking water illegally.

Mayor Lumumba said, "whether it’s you know, a failed contract that has exploited people, whether there is nefarious activity taking place on any level with customers or employees, we're gonna leave no stone unturned."

In 2015 several water department employees were arrested in an investigation of straight piping. This is what it looks like, plastic piping that is installed and bypasses the meter, so a customer avoids charges. We also asked Mayor Lumumba about an update on the Jackson Zoo and the contract with ZoOceanarium.

Mayor Lumumba said, "everything is still a go with the ZoOceanarium contract. We just want to assure that we write a contract and agree to a contract which is in the city's favor. We don't want to do it to the detriment of the group that is coming on."

And on a change of location.

"We've remained committed as an administration to it maintaining where it is, and making certain that we have true measurables to look at in our decision making."

The mayor says his daughter recently celebrated her 5th birthday at the zoo.

We will have more with Mayor Lumumba on his trip to Iceland and how it will benefit the city as well as hear about a new tech company that has moved to the Capital City. That’s coming up Sunday night at 10.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.