A city hall investigation confirms the suspicion that Atlanta water workers are stealing from the city.
An investigator used dramatic language to describe stealing taking place inside the water department.
In a briefing this week to elected officials and senior city hall staffers, the investigator described a "culture of theft" at the department.
The independent probe backs up what whistle-blowers have been saying. They revealed among other things the theft of an $80,000 backhoe. In a separate incident 28 industrial water meters were loaded on a truck and driven away from a city facility at night. Those losses exceeded $400,000.
While the theft claims were substantiated by the investigation, a review of a different claim could not be proven. An employee in an open meeting of the city council described contamination risks due to what she said were bad operating practices inside the department.
The investigator assured the elected officials the city's water is safe.