SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Three employees of the City of Shreveport Department of Water and Sewerage have been arrested following an investigation by the Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force, according to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The following details on the investigation were released by CPSO late Friday morning:
On August 16, an auditor with the City of Shreveport contacted the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office to report possible crimes being committed by three employees with the City of Shreveport.
After an investigation, detectives 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 St. in Shreveport. As a zone supervisor, Tobashia placed work orders in January and June of 2019 for concrete work at her residence. She collaborated with a co-worker, Antonio Carlo Church, 36, of the 3000 block of Ivy Ln., who was a site supervisor with Department of Water and Sewerage, to have the driveway constructed. The investigation determined the materials cost the City of Shreveport over $3,300 and were installed by City of Shreveport employees while on the clock. Caddo Sheriff’s Detective Mike King obtained arrest warrants for Tobashia and Antonio for one count each of felony theft.
A third Department of Water and Sewerage employee, 36-year-old, Damion Coleman, was suspected of unlawfully possessing city equipment at his home. Thursday, Caddo detectives executed a search warrant at his residence in the 2700 block of Millard St. in Shreveport. Detectives found a Case back-hoe, valued at about $20,000, which belonged to the City of Shreveport, hidden behind a false fence on the property. Damion had the back-hoe at his home for over a month without approval. Further investigation showed Damion also took over $2,000 worth of gravel belonging to the city and built a driveway at his home on Millard St.
Damion Coleman was arrested and booked into the Caddo Correctional Center for Unauthorized Use of a Moveable and Felony Theft. Thursday evening, Caddo detectives located Tobashia Watson and booked her into the Caddo Correctional Center for Felony Theft. Early this morning, Antonio Church turned himself in at C.C.C. and was booked on the Felony Theft warrant. Both Watson and Church are each being held on $25,000 bonds.
Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator later commented, “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.”
These matters remain under further investigation by the Caddo Sheriff’s Office.