Petersburg city council candidate outed for unpaid water bills

PETERSBURG Va. (WRIC) — As the City of Petersburg tries to dig out of $12M in debt, officials are pleading with residents to pay their bills. Those pleas have now placed some public officials in the spotlight for  their unpaid bills.

Patricia Hines owes the City of Petersburg $3,000 for water bills. She’s a school board member running for city council.

Hines maintains there’s an error in the billing, but Petersburg City Treasurer Kevin Brown says Hines’ bill is legitimate.

e93a0f263cd24d8b99cb011193b612e1Residents say seeking a public office and owing the city money at a time of financial crisis should be disqualifying.

“It doesn’t send a positive message to the community because how can you manage a city of you can’t manage and budget your own finances,” said Paula Bowser.

Hines told 8News the bill is incorrect.

“They said that they read the meter in 2002. I think it was when I didn’t even own the property,” Hines explained. “Then when they were doing a meter check in 2013, there was usage, but I explained to them that I did not own the property for certain years and that was supposed to help deducted.”

Hines says in a good faith effort she has agreed to pay a hundred dollars a month. She has reached out to the city manager in efforts to schedule a meeting to resolve the issue.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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