Kevin McGill, an Atlanta-area trash collector, is currently serving weekends in jail while working during the week after he was sentenced to a 30-day jail stint for starting work too early. According to WSPA-TV, the sanitation worker began his garbage pickups at 5 AM one morning in violation of a Sandy Springs, GA ordinance which requires trash pickups to begin at 7 AM. Rather than issuing a warning or a fine in response to the mix-up, authorities opted to press for the maximum sentence in an effort to make an example of McGill.
According to the above-embedded video footage by ABC 6, Court Chief Prosecutor Bill Riley pressed for McGill to serve 30 days in jail for his first offense and said, “Fines don’t work.” He said that garbage collectors become a public nuisance when they begin work too early, causing 911 lines to fill up with calls.
“I was stunned. I didn’t know what to think. I was shocked,” said McGill when asked about how he felt when he realized that he was going to face jail time for the mistake. “The solicitor said, ‘It’s automatic jail time.’ He didn’t want to hear nothing else. I said, ‘It’s my first time!'”
“The only thing that seems to stop the activity is actually going to jail,” said Prosecutor Bill Riley.
McGill did not have an attorney when he was sentenced to the 30-day stint. His has since obtained a lawyer who subsequently filed a motion to withdraw his plea. His lawyer feels that a warning would have been a sufficient punishment.
“I just want this to be over with,” said McGill to WSPA-TV.