On Nov. 9, 2012, a federal jury in Hammond, Ind., acquitted United Water Services and two of its employees of federal charges that they tampered with legally required environmental tests at the Gary Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Under the direction of the Justice Department's deputy chief of the Environmental Crimes Section, the federal government filed a 26-count indictment against the water company, plant superintendent Gregory Ciaccio and project manager Dwain Bowie. The indictment, issued in December 2010, included charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act and violation of the Clean Water Act.
The two-week trial, which began on Oct. 29, 2012, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, marked the first time the government has filed tampering charges without proof that compliance samples were altered. The verdict was a complete vindication for the water company and employees.
J.P. Hanlon and Kevin M. Kimmerling of the business litigation group at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP represented Ciaccio in this matter.