ASCENSION PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – An employee at the Donaldsonville water plant was fired after he was caught on video surveillance urinating into the water supply, officials say.
Parish officials said authorities learned about the incident on Wednesday, March 22 and the employee was terminated by 2:45 p.m. that afternoon and arrested by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office identified the employee as Michael Mastin, 57, and charged him with two counts of contaminating water supplies and two counts of criminal damage to critical infrastructure.
Parish President Clint Cointment said as soon as his administration found out about the illegal act an investigation was initiated and the report came back credible. Cointment immediately authorized Mastin’s termination, and he was arrested.
The incident did not put the public in danger, Cointment said. In a news release, he emphasized that all water samples taken to date are in good standing and meet all safe water drinking requirements.
“As Parish President, I am extremely disappointed, and I find this conduct disgusting and unacceptable. This type of behavior will never be tolerated in parish government. Since the beginning of this administration, we have held our parish employees accountable and this is no exception. I demand accountability on behalf of the public,” Cointment said.
The parish also reported the illegal act to the district attorney’s office and federal and state authorities, which means the incident is now in their jurisdiction as an ongoing investigation.