Former Port Arthur employee sentenced to probation for theft

Port Arthur's former assistant water utilities director is beginning his probation sentence Monday after pleading guilty to theft by a public servant.

A judge sentenced John Tomplait to five years' probation Monday.

Tomplait must also pay a $500 fine and restitution.

In January, Tomplait admitted to taking metal that belong to Port Arthur's water department and selling it for money.

Investigators say the case against Tomplait involved five separate incidents of metal theft.

Tomplait claims his former boss told him to do it and to spend the money on a party for his workers, which Tomplait says he did.

However, Tomplait says his boss has since died and could not corroborate his story.