Water employees refuse to allow vehicle searches

Water employees refuse to allow vehicle searches

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ATLANTA -

Some employees of Atlanta's water department are refusing to consent to a search of their private cars.

As FOX 5 reported on Tuesday, internal thefts have gotten so bad at the department that every car is searched as workers leave their jobs.

FOX 5's Morse Diggs said that he saw several employees at a Midtown site refuse to let their vehicles be searched on Wednesday afternoon.

Union boss Gina Pagnotta-Murphy told the workers that they could refuse to consent to the searches.

"If any disciplinary action or anything further comes to them behind them refusing to have that done, then the union will step in and take care of what we need to do," Pagnotta-Murphy said.

The Department of Watershed Management is making the increased security efforts after equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars has been stolen from facilities, sources told FOX 5. Items stolen include giant industrial meters that weigh 700 pounds each.

RELATED | Sources: Feds probing Atlanta's water department

A guard took down the name of each worker that refused the searches.  A spokesperson for the mayor told FOX 5's Morse Diggs that the searches are legal and will continue.

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