Utility Director Fined $500 Tampering Fee

Posted on December 1, 2022 by Romi White

James Dabney, who is seeking re-election to the Holley-Navarre Water System board of directors, is one of 33 customers assessed a $500 tampering fee by the utility so far during 2022.

A May 23, 2022 letter from HNWS to Dabney states the utility “recently discovered and terminated an unauthorized water connection” at his business located on Navarre Parkway. “The water connection was being used illegally.”

Per HNWS policy, he was assessed the $500 fine. The utility’s letter also stated “future tampering offenses will result in $1,000 and could result in criminal prosecution.”

The letter went on to state that the existing meter at the location had been removed. “This meter was originally installed to provide water service to FEMA trailers following Hurricane Ivan. This meter was not setup for commercial purposes and therefore may not be utilized for such services. The Developer will therefore be required to undergo a Single Service Development review and approval process, which includes the Developer providing a new water meter assembly.”

HNWS officials said the utility’s attorney advised them against talking about any member accounts. However, Interim CEO Joe Campbell said during the past two years 55 members have “illegally hooked up” to the water system.

Not long after the May 23 letter was sent to Dabney, details about then-CEO Dallas Peavey’s 2009 legal woes in Texas started coming to light. Although Peavey’s charges were dismissed in 2014 after he satisfied court requirements, he was terminated in early August when it was discovered that his explanation of the charges did not match the “underlying facts” in the case. Per HNWS, a third-party background check at the time of his hiring no criminal convictions for Peavey.

Currently a search for a new CEO is underway.

Dabney did not want to make a comment other than to say he is seeking the advice of an attorney.

Link to our August 4 story: https://ssrnews.com/18649-2/.

Link to the September 20 Holley-Navarre Water System (related discussion takes place around the 1 hour 44 minute mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=sOBcIzetxCo&fbclid=IwAR12Vj0qwbB9GX1hCa9FJslcaHJaxD_bWdVzZ3N3QLq2WOkHQRLd8qBD9nE