A city garbage truck driver who in 2012 let an inmate collecting trash rendezvous with a lover along the route was given fines and probation after pleading guilty.
Muscogee Superior Court Judge William Rumer sentenced Edward Leroy Waldrop to a years probation and a $1,000 fine on each of two counts of obstruction, one of obstructing justice and one of obstructing law enforcement.
As part of his guilty plea, Waldrop agreed never to work for the city of Columbus.
He was accused of facilitating a tryst between Ashley Brummett of Macon, Ga., and Muscogee County Prison inmate Michael Crook, who was serving a sentence for trafficking in cocaine.
Waldrop allowed Crook to use his cell phone to contact Brummett, then let the inmate get into Brummetts vehicle at the dead end of Hunter Road on Oct. 4, 2012.
But the rendezvous did not go unnoticed.
A Hunter Road resident whose brother worked for the city called her sibling after her boyfriend told her he saw a prisoner from a parked garbage truck get into a black GMC Yukon about 11:30 a.m.
She asked her brother whether a prisoner could do that: "He said, 'Hell no. Where are they at?'" she said.
Police interrupted the meeting. Crook came out of the Yukon with his shirt off. Brummett later told authorities that though she agreed to meet Crook, she did not go so far as to bring him the fast food he also had requested.
Waldrop earned about $29,380 a year as a waste-equipment operator. Crook was among 400 inmates assigned to work details in the city.