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11/07/2022

Former Fairfield Town Official Pleads to Environmental Crimes and Conspiring with Others to Defraud Town

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Rocky Hill, CT)  - Chief State’s Attorney Patrick J. Griffin announced that former Fairfield Director of Public Works Joseph Michelangelo, age 61, of Fairfield, pleaded guilty today in Bridgeport Superior Court to nine felony environmental and fraud offenses.

Michelangelo entered pleas to Receiving Solid Waste at an Unpermitted Facility, Illegal Disposal of Asbestos, Illegal Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), and Conspiracy to Commit the crimes of First-Degree Larceny, Second-Degree Forgery and various environmental offenses.

Under his plea agreement, Michelangelo faces up to ten years' incarceration at sentencing.  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.

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 (DPW), 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 case is being prosecuted by the Statewide Prosecution Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, along with the assistance of the Fairfield State’s Attorney’s office. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assisted in the investigation.

Michelangelo is scheduled for sentencing in Bridgeport Superior Court on February 3, 2023. Charges against six other defendants are pending.