St. Pete official fired after sewage scandal; second city employee demoted

File photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said Monday the city’s water resources director has been terminated. The news follows a fall sewage spill, which environmental groups are suing over. Around 148 million gallons of wastewater flowed in Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay, officials have said.

A whistleblower later revealed there were apparent concerns about potential problems with wastewater during major rain events because the city closed the Albert Whitted Water treatment plant, leaving other plants beyond capacity.

On Sept. 21 Kriseman placed Steve Leavitt, the water resources director, on unpaid leave. The termination announcement followed an independent review.

Engineering Director Tom Gibson had also been placed on unpaid leave. He will rejoin the engineering department but as an engineering/transportation design manager. He previously earned $152,110 per year. Gibson will now make $120,000 annually.

“We must continue to remake our Public Works Administration, and specifically our Water Resources Department, in order to better serve both our residents and our employees. I am appreciative of Mr. Leavitt’s many years of service. My expectations of the department, however, calls for new leadership. I am pleased to have Mr. Gibson rejoin us in a capacity well-suited for him,” Kriseman said.

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s