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Federal charges against inspectors in asbestos removal

Demolition of the Kesington Towers in June of 2009
WBFO News file photo
Demolition of the Kesington Towers in June of 2009

By WBFO Newsroom

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-980672.mp3

Buffalo, NY – Asbestos removal at the Kensington Towers redevelopment project was conducted illegally.

U.S. Attorney Williams Hochul announced that a federal grand jury has returned a 23-count indictment against two companies and nine individuals.

The Kensington Towers have been vacant since 1980. But in 2003 the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority began a major redevelopment of the site.

Hochul said the defendants face criminal violations for failing to follow proper asbestos removal laws and violating the federal Clean Air Act.

The companies charged are Johnson Contracting and JMD Environmental. Individuals charged include the president and supervisor of Johnson Contracting and a supervisor and project monitors of JMD.

The remaining defendants include two city of Buffalo Building Inspectors and a state labor department inspector of asbestos control bureau responsible for making sure workers followed asbestos removal laws.

You can click the above audio to listen to the U.S. Attorney's news conference held Thursday in downtown Buffalo to outline the charges.