Garbage man jailed for 30 days because he came to work too EARLY and annoyed residents of wealthy Atlanta suburb
A garbage collector in an affluent Atlanta suburb has been sentenced to 30 days in prison for starting his work too early.
Kevin McGill accepted a guilty plea deal, after he violated an ordinance in Sandy Springs, north of Atlanta, which bans garbage collections before 7 am.
Mr. McGill, who works for Waste Management Inc., reported to a local jail at 6 pm on Friday, the day on which he turned 48. He was allowed to serve his sentence on the weekends, so that he can still work collecting wealthy residents’ trash and support his wife and two children. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Kevin McGill, 48, will serve 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to picking up trash in Sandy Springs, Georgia, before 7 am.
Mr. McGill didn’t have an attorney to represent him when he was sentenced and has since filed a motion to withdraw his plea, his new attorney Kimberly Bandoh told The Daily Mail.
The Court Chief Solicitor Bill Riley had asked for a 30-day sentence for the offense of picking up garbage in Sandy Springs at around 5 am and the judge granted the penalty.
Mr. McGill was sentenced on February 20th at the local courthouse, which is run by private contractors hired by the city.
Ms. Bandoh says that there were no real negotiations between Mr. McGill and Mr. Riley when her client was sentenced, The Daily Mail reports. She added that the solicitor had claimed her client’s offense meant “automatic jail time”.
The solicitor has since stood by the request for jail, saying that “fines don’t seem to work” and that “the only thing that seems to stop the activity is actually going to jail”.
2. Sandy Springs Solicitor Bill Riley said that it was the right decision to punish Mr. McGill, rather than his company, Waste Management.
Mr. Riley explained that Sandy Springs residents, who include professional athletes and executives for Delta Air Lines, start calling 911 when they hear early garbage men, WSPAreports.
He added that it was the right decision to punish Mr. McGill, who had only started this route three months ago, rather than his company Waste Management, which Sandy Springs has contracted to collect its residents’ trash.
The prosecutor said that early trash collection annoys residents who want to sleep and added that his office had previously met with Waste Management after punishing other employees for violating the city’s ordinance.
A Waste Management representative went to the courthouse with Mr. McGill, who expected to receive a $1,000 fine, Ms. Bandoh said.
Marla Prince, a Waste Management spokesperson, told The Daily Mail:
The incident with WM employee Kevin McGill is very unfortunate and we are currently working with WM Legal Counsel to resolve the situation.
Ms. Prince added that she had not heard of a garbage collector going to jail for a similar incident in the company’s South Atlantic area of Georgia and the Carolinas.
3. Mr. McGill is now working with lawyer Kimberly Bandon (pictured) and has filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.
Ms. Prince stated that Waste Management, which operates throughout the U.S. and reported $14 billion in revenue in 2014, would coordinate with Mr. McGill about his work schedule and jail time.
Sharon Kraun, a spokesperson for Sandy Springs, said that Mr. McGill’s punishment resulted from an incident where his truck had been photographed by a resident, according to The Daily Mail.
The city of Sandy Springs had seen a previous case in which a garbage collector was given jail time several years ago, Ms. Kraun said. While no similar cases had happened since then, she argued, the collectors had received a “fair warning”.
She added that Waste Management, which had accrued thousands of dollars in fines in Sandy Springs over the past year, had suspended Mr. McGill for violating its policies before he appeared in court.
Waste Management has not answered questions about Mr. McGill’s employment history with the company and has said it was “currently still investigating all the facts in the case”.