Former Louisiana water system manager pleads guilty to fraud


SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to defrauding the water system he once managed. Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook says 50-year-old Donald Messick of Coushatta took nearly $58,500 from the Fairview Union Water System in rural Red River Parish over 13 months. Authorities say Messick pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of fraud and is to be sentenced Nov. 18. The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Prosecutors say Messick used water system money to buy fuel, tools, and other equipment for himself, and enrolled a relative who wasn’t eligible in the system’s health insurance program.