Already accused of bribery, ex-Fairfield official hit with new charges in illegal dumping case
BRIDGEPORT — The wide-ranging investigation into the illegal dumping of contaminated soil, which has cost the town of Fairfield millions of dollars to clean up and resulted in criminal charges against three town employees, has gotten bigger.
On Wednesday afternoon, Scott Bartlett, Fairfield’s former superintendent of public works, who is already awaiting trial on bribery and kickback charges in the case, was arrested again and charged with multiple counts of violating state environmental laws including the improper disposal of PCPs and solid waste.
Bartlett was released on a promise to appear in court pending arraignment in state Superior Court on Dec. 4.
His lawyer, Frederick Paoletti, declined comment on the arrest.
Joseph Michelangelo, the town’s former Director of Public Works, who is already facing conspiracy charges, is expected to surrender Friday on new charges in the case, according to his lawyer, Eugene Riccio, who declined comment further.
Sources said Bartlett and Michelangelo are just the first of possibly half a dozen people involved in the dumping case to face new charges, including another former town employee.
Court documents state that Bartlett, who was in financial straits, agreed to allow Jason Julian, co-owner of Julian Enterprises, to allow Julian’s company to dump truckloads of contaminated waste onto property adjacent to the town’s public works garage in exchange for monetary kickbacks and giving Bartlett’s son a job.
Julian is awaiting trial on bribery, larceny and illegal dumping charges.
“Joe Michelangelo…was aware of this dumping of the prohibited construction and demolition debris and allowed it to occur to the detriment of the town of Fairfield,” the arrest warrant application states. “As a result of this detailed criminal activity, the town of Fairfield has been left with tons of potentially contaminated and polluted material to be removed and/or managed at the expense of Fairfield taxpayers.”
The documents state that police believe Julian Enterprises resold some of the soil that was loaded with lead and PCBs as clean fill for construction projects in Fairfield. The Town of Fairfield has tested 60 field, park and playground sites to check for the presence of contaminants.
The contaminated soil came from Julian’s project to demolish the former Connecticut Limousine property on Commerce Drive and from material dredged from Ash Creek, the documents state.
Robert Mayer, who served as chief of staff under former Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau, was previously charged with hiding evidence in the case and is awaiting trial.