REVERE — A former Water and Sewer Department employee was arrested Thursday for allegedly pocketing cash for outdoor water meters.
Michael Amentola of Revere was charged with one felony count of larceny over $1,200, said Revere Police Capt. Amy O’Hara. Police declined to disclose further details about the charges, citing an ongoing investigation.
A program in Revere allows residents to purchase a separate meter designed to measure the water used outdoors to receive a credit against the sewer rates for water usage typically not directed through the city’s sewer system.
The newly appointed superintendent of the Water and Sewer Department discovered that some of the outdoor water meters had been distributed without any record of distribution or payment, said Mayor Brian Arrigo. Arrigo’s office initiated an internal review into the unaccounted for water meters.
Resident accounts showed that Amentola had allegedly taken cash payments on more than one occasion for the unaccounted for meters, said Arrigo. When it became clear that the employee was engaged in more than shoddy bookkeeping, the matter was referred to the Revere Police Department, he said.
“I have no tolerance for this employee’s behavior, and my zero tolerance policy applies to every department across the city,” said Arrigo. “This situation demonstrates the importance of the long-overdue policies and procedures necessary to prevent and detect such malfeasance so we don’t find ourselves in this position again. I remain committed to instituting and implementing those policies through the audits we have already begun.”
“It is of utmost importance that the public feel confident that their money is being rightfully handled,” said Arrigo. “We have made significant progress but there is still a lot of work left to do in order to deliver the transparency and accountability to local government that our residents deserve.”
Arrigo said he commends the joint efforts of both the Water and Sewer Department and the Revere Police Department for their detection and investigation of this matter.
He will be working with the city’s new Human Resources Department to initiate ethics training in every department in the city.