Anniston Public Works probe : Citizen investigator under investi - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Anniston Public Works probe : Citizen investigator under investigation

Posted: Updated:
ANNISTON - AL -

Anniston city manager Don Hoyt confirms his office is conducting an investigation of several undisclosed allegations surrounding the Public Works department. Hoyt says about 3 dozen people have been interviewed, and 8 more people are scheduled for talks.

Ronald Heining, the man who says he tipped the city off to alleged wrong doing, says he is being attacked for acting on a whistle blower tip.

One of those tips claimed public works employees were doing work on their boss's home. Heining went to the home of Bob Dean, the public works director, in hopes of catching some kind of proof. calling it his civic duty, he took pictures with his cellular phone.

" I think I was doing right for the community," said Heining

But Dean is alleging Heining crossed a legal line.  He's pressed charges against Heining. The Calhoun County Sheriff's Department is investigating possible criminal trespass and criminal surveillance charges.

" In his complaint , he gave us information that he had a witness who personally saw photos of his property taken from an angle that could only be taken from within his property," said Sheriff Larry Amerson.

Heining insists he did nothing wrong. He adds he could not find any no trespassing signs on Dean's property. The Anniston resident alleges a city worker showed up at his job taking pictures of him. He calls it , not only a case of "tit for tat", but intimidation.

"If I took pictures of his house , what's the difference ?" said Heining "I think they're trying to find something on me to cover themselves up."

The cell phone has been seized by investigators to be examined by the Secret Service.

Bob Dean did not return our phone calls for comment.