The city of Beaumont has filed suit against Entergy Texas, accusing the electric company of "unethical and fraudulent billing practices."

After an inspection and audit, the city learned that it was being billed for lights that did not exist, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 21 in Jefferson County.

The city claims "shocking trends were discovered" as officials analyzed past bills.

"The city of Beaumont, as a result of Entergy's unethical and fraudulent billing practices, discovered that they were being billed for lights that did not exist, maintenance that did not occur, and was being billed for higher wattages, when in actuality, the wattage on the bulb was considerably less," the suit states.

"Given the fact the there are well over 10,000 lights covered under the monthly bill, the amount of overbilling is staggering."

Furthermore, the city claims it was being billed at "Rate A when they should have been billed at Rate B, a much lower rate," the suit states.

The four-count suit accuses Entergy of negligence, misrepresentation, fraud and breach of contract.

The city is seeking economic and exemplary damages and is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Ed Fisher.

Entergy Texas has not yet responded to the allegations.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E184-962

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