Day care owner says Joseph Lee broke promise to help - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Day care owner says Joseph Lee broke promise to help

A Mid-South day care owner spent part of the day in the dark after she says MLGW President Joseph Lee broke a promise to her.

The day care is the Holiness Childcare Enrichment Center in the 500-block of Alston, where the power problem happened after the children were dropped off this morning.

The lights are back on tonight. But this morning, after all the kids dropped in, the lights went out.

Infants and toddlers sat in darkness at the Holiness Childcare Enrichment Center.

"I got to work this morning everything was fine," said owner Joan Leake. She says that by midmorning, there was trouble at the day care.

An MLGW service rep showed up and turned off the power.

"I said on the children? He said he didn't care," said Leake.

MLGW says they've tried to work with Leake, allowing her to make partial payments on her past due balance for months.

But Leake's anger is aimed squarely at Joseph Lee, the MLGW president who promised to help her.

"Something needs to be done about this Mr. Lee. I understand. We need help," she told Lee, while our cameras rolled on March 7th.

Leake was protesting outside the utility's headquarters two weeks ago when Lee told her someone at the utility would be in touch.

"You know its not that I don't want to pay the bill its that I was waiting on them to call me and see if they would break it up into payments or what," she said.

Late Thursday, MLGW gave Leake four months to get caught up on her bill and agreed to reconnect her power.

"I know I have at least 300 dollars," she told us.

But she's still angry that her promise from the president was broken.

"Mr. Joseph Lee I hope you're listening to me, I don't want this to happen to me again because its not right. You gave me your word and I expect you to uphold what you said to me," she said.

For now children at the daycare are out of the dark.

Leake wants to know why the utility agreed to to give councilman Edmund Ford until the end of the month to pay thousands of dollars of past due utility bills, and yet they cut off her service today.

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