Problems at the Fayette County Justice Complex continue

SOMERVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - Last week, Fayette County officials shut off the water supply to their new justice complex while they try to figure out why water pressure inside the building so low inside.  But the move is more than just inconvenient for those who work there.

When you drive up to the complex, you might be surprised to see porta-potties sitting in the parking lot. Employees are forced to use the outside facilities because of the lack of water.  For some, it was causing quite an inconvenience.

"My employees are going back and forth to Somerville to use the restroom because the facilities provided are not adequate," Fayette County Court Clerk Connie Kelley Doyle said.

Doyle says she and her staff are trying to keep things organized, while officials determine the problem - a problem that's affecting more than employees inside the complex.

"We've had people show up constantly for cases to be heard that haven't been heard, and that to me is a dis-service to the public," she said.

About 300 cases have already been rescheduled because the water has been cut off, and employees here at the Justice Center say that is a risk to taxpayers.

"If there's a weakness in the system, the inmates will exploit that and there will be a disaster," General Sessions Judge Mike Whitaker said.

Whitaker says the old Fayette county jail is overflowing with prisoners, because the new jail isn't equipped to hold them.

"There may be a wholesale dismissal down there because we can't occupy this jail," he said.

According to Whitaker, the worst is yet to come.

"We've canceled court - we're going to cancel more court. I can't ask 200 people to use a porta-potty," he said.

Fayette County Sheriff Bobby Riles says he's received no complaints about the portable facilities.  Crews will spend the next week examining water lines for any blockages, and hope to have the facility ready to occupy by late next week.

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