EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- A Splendora man learned the hard way on Monday that the new administration of Pct. 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden is cleaning up East Montgomery County in more ways than one.
When Deputy Mark Seals heard there was yet another illegal dumpsite for household garbage, he grabbed his hand sanitizer and went to investigate the latest location, which was a small creek off of Duke Road, about 1/8 mile south of FM 2090.
Before long, Seals had a suspect because of numerous items in the trash linking it to the same name and address.
“There were 10 to 12 large bags of household garbage,” Seals said. “It just took a little digging.”
Seals confronted 36-year-old Micky Donald Whatley at his Splendora residence and told Whatley he needed to go and clean up his mess. Seals said Whatley readily agreed and asked his brother to assist him.
Seals and the two brothers went back to the dumpsite where he watched as they cleared the garbage. Seals also wrote Whatley a citation for illegal dumping, which is a class C misdemeanor (under 15 pounds) and generally carries about a $500 fine.
Had Whatley refused to comply with Seals’ instruction to go and pick up the garbage, he could have been arrested and faced civil penalties including not only a fine, but the cost of having someone else collect the trash.
Tony Tobias from Pct. 4 Commissioner Ed Rinehart’s office contacts the Constable’s office on a regular basis about people dumping household garbage.
Tobias supervises trustees collecting litter on the roadsides in the precinct. However, when the trash appears to be more than something tossed from a moving vehicle, he calls the Constable’s office.
Residents in the habit of illegally disposing of their garbage need to be aware that things have changed, Seals said.
“To our knowledge, until now, this was never enforced,” Seals said.
Since Jan. 1, Pct. 4 has written numerous tickets for illegal dumping and only person has contested it, he said.
“We’re going to hold people accountable for illegal activities, and that includes dumping,” Seals said. “We all live out here and we ought to be responsible.”