Former city employee sought in dumping

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Code Enforcement officer Wayne Scott holds a Warren County tag and photocopied identification that was found in a heap of trash left in a no dumping area near Pearl and Lee streets Monday.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[12/04/01]A former Vicksburg employee has been charged with illegal dumping and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Several bags of trash, some identifiable to the suspect, were found Monday morning alongside a sequestered, wooded stretch of Pearl Street between Lee and Mattingly.

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The evidence of whose trash had been dumped included photocopies of a driver’s license and a Social Security card, old electricity bills and an old City of Vicksburg paycheck stub, all showing the name of John Bingham, said Vicksburg code enforcement officer Wayne Scott.

A misdemeanor arrest warrant was then issued for Bingham, who once worked as a laborer in the water department, according to personnel records at City Hall.

Scott said the maximum fine is $250, but the important thing is to get the message out about people who litter.

“All I want to do is let people know that if they dump like this, we’re going to catch them,” Scott said. “The citizens of Vicksburg are tired of people dumping like this.”

Vicksburg has had code enforcement officers for more than four years. Scott, formerly with the fire department, was placed in the position by new city officials who took office in July.

“It’s people like this who are ruining our town,” Mayor Laurence Leyens said of those who litter streetsides. “I hope the judge will make an example of him.”

Almost weekly for two years, trash including household waste in bags, large appliances, tires and old clothes has been being left along the stretch of Pearl Street, said an owner of adjacent land. Several signs forbidding dumping, including one just feet from where the bags of trash were still sitting Monday morning, have had no effect.

The neighbor said he had noticed the problem and he had several times collected what he could and taken it to his own house for proper pickup. By sifting through the trash Monday, however, he found evidence pointing to whose trash was being dumped.

He called Vicksburg Police Lt. Chip Denman, a former code enforcement officer, who along with Scott and Officer Mike Bryant went to the site and later obtained the warrant for Bingham’s arrest.

The case could be decided in Municipal Court as early as Wednesday.