Several officials with the town of Fairfield have been arrested for allegedly allowing illegal disposals of hazardous materials at a construction material processing facility
The arrests took place on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and Thursday, Nov. 19, said Lt. Antonio E. Granata of the Fairfield Police.
Those arrested were:
- Brian Carey, the interim director of Department of Public Works and Conservation Director for the Town of Fairfield;
- Emmet Hibson, the former Human Resources Director for the Town of Fairfield;
- Scott Bartlett, a former superintendent for the Department of Public Works for the Town of Fairfield,
- Robert J. Grabarek an employee of Osprey Environmental Engineering.
In July of 2019, several additional town officials were arrested and charged with multiple illegal dumping charges as well as larceny and forgery charges, stemming from a Fairfield Police investigation that began in 2017, into the Julian Development operated Construction Material Processing Facility on Fairfield Department of Public Works property.
- Related Story: Fairfield Public Works Officials, Construction Co. Owner Arrested For Alleged Dumping
The investigation revealed that Julian Development had dumped and allowed dumping of a tremendous volume of material on the DPW site, some of which was found to contain PCB’s, lead, and other contaminants, police said.
The materials required remediation to a licensed hazardous waste facility at a cost of more than $280,000 to the town.
Julian Development was removed from the site and was subsequently also charged, as was Joseph Michelangelo the then, Director of Public Works, said police.
Those charges are currently pending in court, in the Fairfield Judicial District.
The tremendous volume of material that Julian Development was allowed to accept at the Construction Material Processing Facility during the time frame of 2013-2016, and the subsequent discovery of contaminated material on the site, was the direct result of the failure of town officials to properly manage and monitor the activities of Julian Development while they operated on Town DPW property, according to police.
This failure resulted in the $280,000 cost of site remediation of contaminated material for the Town in 2017.
After completion of the initial remediation, approximately 100,000 cubic yards of material remained on the Town of Fairfield Construction Material Processing Facility site.
The remaining material would have cost millions of dollars to remove and properly remediate, said police.
Additionally, the remaining 100,000 cubic yards of suspected material left behind by Julian Development continued to create an esthetically undesirable view of the pile and had been the topic of many Fairfield resident complaints.
Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said she was disheartened over the arrests.
"As I shared with residents when I was sworn in to lead the Town of Fairfield, I will continue to do everything within my power to regain the public’s faith and trust in our town government, which was damaged in the wake of the fill-pile contamination and public corruption," she said.
All were charged with illegal disposal of PCBs, and conspiracy to commit illegal disposal of PCBs.
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