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A Dallas Meter Reader Was Arrested Yesterday for Shaking Down a Homeowner

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For at least part of the day yesterday, the house at 2818 Marjorie Ave. in East Oak Cliff was without running water, which the city had turned off for non-payment. At 3:30 p.m. Tavarius Spencer, a Dallas Water Utilities meter reader with several years' experience, showed up to turn it back on.

He wasn't supposed to. According to a Dallas police report, Spencer accepted $100 for the service. It seems from the report that this was more of a shakedown than a freely given bribe, but it's not completely clear. What is clear that such behavior is frowned upon. Police arrested Spencer about 10 minutes after he turned the water on. He was taken to jail on a misdemeanor charge of abusing an official position and was released overnight on a $500 bond.

I'm checking with the city on his current employment status. If he still does have a job, here's betting he won't for long. (Update on November 14: Per city spokesman Frank Librio, he's been placed on administrative leave.)

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