The affair regarding the unwarranted toxic waste disposal in the town of Bridgeport is gaining momentum as one more official has been indicted.
Joseph Michelangelo, who serves as the director of Public Works in Bridgeport, is facing serious charges for conspiring to commit second-degree forgery, second-degree forgery, and illegal dumping.
The Judge of the Superior Court, Tracy Lee Dayton, held the hearing with Eugene Riccio attending as the defense lawyer. State’s Attorney Senior Assistant, Tamberlyn Conopask, read the charges and will be leading the prosecution. The next court session is taking place on September 18.
Riccio stated that the defense will be fierce and dismissed all charges. His defendant, who served as the head of public works department since 2012, is accused of a possible conspiration with the superintendent of public works in Bridgeport, Scott Bartlett, and the head of Julian Enterprises (and co-owner) Jason Julian. According to the prosecution, they were trying to enable Julian’s company to dispose of toxic waste onto the ground next to the public works garage.
Larceny, illegal dumping, receiving kickbacks, and first-degree forgery are on the long list of charges for Bartlett and Julian. They were both arraigned on Wednesday as part of the same process.
The legal defense fund for Neil Bartlett raised $18,000. The cleaning costs for the polluted site are about $779,000. The number will be even higher because it is not the only location the trio used, as per the court documents.
Michelangelo was aware of the disposal of the prohibited debris from construction and demolition works, and with failing to react or report contributed to the detriment of Fairfield. The arrest warrant continues by stating that the town was left with potentially dangerous materials to be removed. Further, it adds that criminal activity will make the tax-payers lose a significant amount of money.
The documents state that there are indications that Julian Enterprises re-sold portions of the land for further development and construction while fully aware that it has been polluted with lead and PCBs. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was digging up Gould Manor Park to check for potential toxicity.
The PCBs were banned in 1978 because they proved to be dangerous to the environment. Moreover, they have been classified as persistent organic pollutants and can be cancerogenic for humans and animals.
Julians Enterprises’ project to overturn the property formerly owned by Connecticut Limousine and Ash Creek, is where contaminated soil is coming from. The harm it can cause is of the greatest concern for Bridgeport officials.