A Georgia sanitation worker will spend the next 14 weekends in jail for the crime of going to work too early.
WSB News reports Kevin McGill was cited for violating a city of Sandy Springs ordinance meant to keep garbage trucks off the streets during the early morning hours. McGill was cited for working just after 5 o’clock in the morning.
Sandy Springs is a suburb of Atlanta.
The ordinance was originally intended to keep the noisy trucks from waking sleeping residents, according to Waste 360.
But the city’s solicitor, Bill Riley, says that the waste management companies routinely violate the ordinance which says the trucks can only operate in the city between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Riley told WSB that 911 calls shoot up when the trucks roll through neighborhoods before 7 a.m. and he has tried everything to stop them.
“Fines don't seem to work,” Riley said. "The only thing that seems to stop the activity is actually going to jail.”
McGill doesn’t dispute that he violated the ordinance, but he was surprised to learn that he could go to jail for it.
“The solicitor said it's automatic jail time. He didn't want to hear nothing I had to say. I said, ‘it's my first time,’” he said.
“I was stunned. I didn't know what to think. I was shocked,” he added.
A judge sentenced McGill to 30 days in jail, but has allowed him to serve his time on the weekends so he can work during the week.
McGill did not have an attorney with him when he was sentenced.
His new attorney, Kimberly Bandoh, is working to withdraw her client’s plea. She told WSB that the waste management company should be responsible, not the company’s employees.
“Give him a warning,” she said. “I mean he's the employee. He's not the employer. Sentencing him to jail is doing what?”
"The company doesn't start that truck up," he said. "The company doesn't drive that truck down the street.”
McGill is hoping to just get the matter behind him. He said he doesn’t like reporting to jail every weekend.
"I just want this to be over with,” he said. “I'm away from my family, my wife, and she’s got to take care of the two little boys and I have four dogs.”