Tobashia Watson, Antonio Church, Damion Coleman

Tobashia Watson (upper, left), Antonio Church (upper, right), Damion Coleman.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Three employees of Shreveport's Department of Water and Sewerage have been arrested following an investigation by the Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force, Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator said Friday in a news release.

The arrests resulted from an auditor's tip last week to the sheriff's office about possible crimes being committed by the workers. 

Sheriff's detectives say they discovered 44-year-old, Tobashia Watson, who was a zone supervisor for the Department of Water and Sewerage, manipulated documentation and had a large concrete driveway installed at her residence in the 5800 block of Dianne Street in Shreveport.  As a zone supervisor, Watson placed work orders in January and June for concrete work at her residence. 

She collaborated with a co-worker, Antonio Carlo Church, 36, of the 3000 block of Ivy Lane, who was a site supervisor with the department, to have the driveway constructed, the sheriff said. 

The investigation determined the materials cost the city over $3,300 and were installed by employees while on the clock. 

Watson was booked into the Caddo Correctional Center for felony theft Thursday evening. Early Friday morning, Church turned himself in at C.C.C. and was booked on a felony theft warrant. Both are held on bonds of $25,000 each.

A third employee, 36-year-old, Damion Coleman, was suspected of unlawfully having city equipment at his home in the 2700 block of Millard Street in Shreveport. So on Thursday Caddo detectives searched it and found the city's Case back-hoe, valued at about $20,000, hidden behind a false fence.

Coleman had the back-hoe at his home for over a month without approval, Prator said, adding that Coleman also took over $2,000 worth of gravel belonging to the city and built a driveway at his home.

Coleman was booked into the C.C.C. for unauthorized use of a movable and felony theft. 

“Public corruption comes in many shapes and sizes but always involves a violation of public trust.  We take it very serious when this trust is violated by elected officials or employees of public agencies, and we will do our best to bring them to light," Prator said in a statement.

 The sheriff's office is continuing its investigation.


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