MELBOURNE, Fla. --  A city of Melbourne water-distribution worker on Thursday was ensnared by his own city’s police department during an undercover operation targeting prostitutes and their clients.

What You Need To Know

  • Robert Zions was arrested while on the clock for City of Melbourne

  • Zions was suspended from his position in city's water-distribution unit

  • He bonded out of jail before a scheduled court appearance Friday

Robert Zions, 62, was wearing a city uniform and driving a city water utilities truck when he pulled up to a female officer posing as a prostitute at 9:40 a.m. Thursday on W.H. Jackson Street, a report says.

“Hey, sweetheart,” Zions called out, according to a police report released Friday. The undercover officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle.

“He told me he was working, and I told him I was also working,” the report said. “He realized he was blocking traffic and eventually said for us to move over to a side street.”

Minutes later, the conversion continued with the officer telling Zions she was “trying to make some money.”

“He asked me how much I wanted to make, so I responded” $20, the report noted. “He said he could do that and then discussed where we could go. He told me he was close to retirement, so he did not want me to get in the truck.”

He said he didn’t want her to perform an act on him while he was driving. Instead, he offered her $5 to touch her, the report said.

She agreed and signaled to other officers that it was time to arrest Zions.

He was accused of solicitation of prostitution, a second-degree misdemeanor Zions was on the clock for the city when he was arrested Thursday morning.

“He is suspended until the investigation into this matter is completed,” Melbourne spokeswoman Cheryl Mall told Spectrum News on Thursday.

Zions bonded out of jail before a scheduled court appearance Friday.

His agency is a regional supplier of drinking water in Brevard County.

The city of Melbourne provides water to the cities of Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach, Palm Shores, Melbourne Village and unincorporated Brevard County south of the Pineda Causeway.

The city of Melbourne also provides wholesale water service to the City of West Melbourne.