The Birmingham Water Works appointed an interim purchasing manager after the preceding manager retired last week.
According to emails obtained by AL.com, Reis Logan has been hired to fill the position, though the position is still posted, and the utility is recruiting candidates to fill it.
Logan will replace Edward Travis, one of three employees who abruptly retired last week from the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB). Sources told WBRC that Travis, along with Raymond Q. Childs and Ruth May, retired from the BWWB following accusations of poor practices and kickbacks within the BWWB purchasing department.
Logan will take over a department in disarray that's been heavily criticized by customers and elected officials.
Last month, Birmingham Water Works customers were hit with many billing issues. According to media reports, thousands of customers didn't receive bills for months, only to receive much larger or multiple bills all at once.
The bills were also not based on accurate meter readings but estimations based on previous months. Birmingham Water Works blamed a lack of meter readers and insufficient staffing for the issue.
The BWWB hired Macaroy Underwood of Underwood Financial Consultants, LLC, to review the customer billing and collections from January 1, 2022, through July 31, 2022. Underwood was the general manager of Birmingham Water Works from 2005 to 2018.
Underwood's hiring was questioned by several members of the BWWB's finance committee due to ethical dilemmas surrounding hiring a former general manager.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has had a few things to say about the billing issues at the Water Works over the past week.
Woodfin tweeted last week that complaints about the BWWB are rampant.
On Monday, Woodfin went live on Facebook to demand that the BWWB step out of the way and allow the general manager to fix the billing issues.
Also, on Monday, State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) said on Rightside Radio that he frequently received constituent complaints and suggested action by the legislature if the utility can't immediately improve.
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