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Ex-Fairfield County Public Works Director Admits To Environmental Offenses

Joseph Michelangelo
Joseph Michelangelo Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department

A former Fairfield County public works director pleaded guilty to nine felony environmental and fraud offenses.

Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin announced on Monday, Nov. 7 that former Fairfield Director of Public Works Joseph Michelangelo, age 61, of Fairfield, pleaded guilty to the charges.

Michelangelo entered guilty pleas to:

  • Receiving solid waste at an unpermitted facility
  • Illegal disposal of asbestos
  • Illegal disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Conspiracy to commit larceny and other environmental offenses.

Under his plea agreement, he faces up to 10 years in prison. If convicted on all counts after a trial, Michelangelo would have been exposed to more than 20 years in prison. 

 The plea agreement also requires Michelangelo to make restitution payments to the Town of Fairfield for the harm caused, Griffin said. 

In 2019, following a lengthy and in-depth investigation by the Fairfield Police Department and the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney into the suspected corrupt activities and illegal dumping operations on town property located at the Fairfield Department of Public Works, Michelangelo and six others were arrested.

Under the plea agreement, Michelangelo admitted that he and other town officials participated in a pattern of activities that included a conspiracy between themselves and a contractor they hired to operate part of the DPW property. The DPW site and other locations became a dumping ground for unauthorized, contaminated, and hazardous materials, the State Attorney's Office said.

Michelangelo is scheduled for sentencing in Bridgeport Superior Court in February 2023. 

Charges against six other defendants are pending.

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