Former, Current Town Officials and Local Licensed Environmental Contractor Charged with Polluting Public Property
A joint investigation by the Statewide Prosecution Bureau, Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the Fairfield Police Department has resulted in the arrests this week of the following current and former Town of Fairfield employees and a licensed environmental contractor:
- Brian Carey, 42, Interim Director of Fairfield Department of Public Works and Conservation Director
- Joseph Michelangelo, 58, former Director of Fairfield Department of Public Works
- Scott Bartlett, 57, former Superintendent of Fairfield Department of Public Works
- Emmet Hibson, 56, former Fairfield Director of Human Resources
- Robert Grabarek, 64, President of Osprey Environmental Engineering, LLC.
All five individuals are charged with conspiring to commit various environmental crimes, including Illegal Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) on town-owned property in Fairfield. Carey and Grabarek also are charged with Illegal Discharge of Materials into Waters. The illegal disposal and discharge of PCBs are felonies carrying maximum prison sentences of up to 3 years per count and a fine of up to $50,000 for each day in violation.
The charges are the result of a lengthy and in-depth joint investigation by Inspectors and Prosecutors in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Statewide Prosecution Bureau, Environmental Crimes Unit and the Fairfield Police Department into illegal dumping activities at the Fairfield Department of Public Works property on Richard White Way in Fairfield.
Bartlett and Michelangelo were previously arrested in 2019, along with a contractor, Jason Julian of Julian Development. These charges are pending in Fairfield Superior Court.
According to the arrest warrant affidavits, both Bartlett and Michelangelo conspired with Hibson, Carey and Grabarek, in a continued pattern to illegally dispose of contaminated materials and to conceal the contamination from others, including town residents.
The town attorney estimates that it will cost the town between $5 to $10 million to remediate the contaminated property, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
All five individuals are scheduled to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court, G.A. No. 2, on December 4, 2020. The case will be prosecuted by the Statewide Prosecution Bureau, Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.
All charges against these individuals are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.