Ascension Parish employee fired after reportedly urinating in water supply

Staff Report

Ascension Parish Government announced in a news release that an employee was terminated after administrators said they determined the employee had urinated in the Donaldsonville water plant's water supply March 22.

"From day one, my administration has worked hard to build a professional parish work force that reflects and exceeds the expectations of the residents of our great parish. Today, I am extremely disappointed to be sharing the results of an employee disciplinary action," Parish President Clint Cointment said in the release.

A screen capture from a video shared by Ascension Parish Government shows a suspect who was terminated from employment and arrested by parish deputies. The suspect has been accused of urinating into the water supply in Donaldsonville.

Upon termination, the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office arrested the suspect.

At no time was the public in danger, according to the release. All water samples taken to date are in good standing and meet all safe water drinking requirements.

"As Parish President, I am extremely disappointed, and I find this conduct disgusting and unacceptable," Cointment said. "This type of behavior will never be tolerated in parish government. Since the beginning of this administration, we have held our parish employees accountable, and this is no exception. I demand accountability on behalf of the public."

The administration reported the matter to the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, as well as federal and state authorities. This incident is now in their jurisdiction as an ongoing investigation.

According to the release, the administration was informed at 9:22 a.m. March 22 that an incident occurred between 9:30 and 10: 45 a.m. After verifying the report was credible, the incident was reported to APSO at 10:46 a.m.

Calls were placed to the Louisiana Department of Health and the DA's office between 11 and 11:30 a.m.

The employee was terminated and taken into custody by the Sheriff's Office at 2:45 p.m.

The suspect has been identified as 57-year-old Michael Mastin of Baton Rouge. He was charged with two counts contaminating water supplies, and two counts criminal damage to a critical infrastructure.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.