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Ascension water plant worker fired, arrested after video showed him urinating in water supply

1 year 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, March 23 2023 Mar 23, 2023 March 23, 2023 5:02 PM March 23, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

DONALDSONVILLE - A parish worker has been fired and faces criminal charges after he apparently urinated in the water supply at an Ascension water plant. 

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office identified the worker as 57-year-old Michael Mastin of Baton Rouge. He was arrested on two counts of contaminating water supplies and two counts criminal damage to a critical infrastructure. 

The incident happened March 19 at the parish's water plant in Donaldsonville. Video shared by parish officials showed Mastin walking up to a surveillance camera and adjusting it so that his lower body and the water were just out of frame. The video then shows him standing on a platform over the water for about a minute and a half before he walks back over to the camera and moves it back to its original position. 

Though parish officials wouldn't be informed of what happened until days later, Ascension President Clint Cointment said the contamination did not pose a threat to the community.

"At no time was the public in danger. All water samples taken to date are in good standing and meet all safe water drinking requirements," Cointment said in a statement announcing Mastin's firing.

Read the full statement from the parish president's office below. The parish has also released video from incident.

From day one my administration has worked hard to build a professional parish work force that reflects and exceeds the expectations of the residents of our great parish. Today, I am
extremely disappointed to be sharing the results of an employee disciplinary action.

On March 22, 2023, parish government was informed that an employee at the Donaldsonville water plant urinated in the water supply. An investigation was immediately initiated and the administration unfortunately determined the report was credible. The Parish President immediately authorized the termination of the employee. Upon the termination the employee was arrested by Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

At no time was the public in danger. 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.

The administration reported this incident to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, District
Attorney’s Office and federal and state authorities. This incident is now in their jurisdiction as an ongoing investigation.

615 E. Worthey Street, Gonzales, Louisiana 70737

Telephone (225) 450-1138 www.ascensionparish.net facebook.com/AscensionGov

Timeline:
March 22, 2023
9:22am the administration was informed that an incident occurred
9:30am-10:45am administration investigated to verify the report was credible
10:46am incident was reported to the Sheriff’s office
11am-11:30am calls were placed to LDH and the District Attorney’s office
2:45pm the employee was terminated and taken into custody by the Sheriff’s office

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