A Sewerage and Water Board sticker is stuck to machinery inside a water tower at the Carrollton Water Plant in New Orleans, Friday, June 10, 2022. (Photo by Sophia Germer,, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

A former Sewerage & Water Board administrator accused of bilking the agency out of $100,000 was indicted for theft in federal court Tuesday. 

James Arnold, 61, is accused of stealing permit fees due to the Sewerage & Water Board, according to a bill of information filed Tuesday in U.S. Eastern District Court. 

A bill of information indicates the defendant being charged plans to plead guilty and will be required to cooperate in any further investigation.

Arnold was suspended without pay from the department in December of 2021 after the FBI raided the Sewerage & Water Board's headquarters. Only handwritten records of the transactions were found. 

Prosecutors say that from 2012 to 2021, Arnold, who was utility services administrator for the agency, instructed plumbers to pay fees to him directly in exchange for permits and then pocketed the money. The Sewerage & Water Board estimated the loss from Arnold's alleged misdeeds at $108,290, according to the bill of information.

Arnold will be required to surrender any property acquired using stolen funds. Arnold's attorney, Brian Capitelli, declined comment Wednesday.

Email Gabriella Killett at or follow her on Twitter, @GEKillett.