Fairfield’s former director of public works pleaded not guilty Thursday in connection with an alleged scheme to dump waste on town property.

Joseph Michelangelo, 57, entered his plea before Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander and asked for a jury trial.

The plea comes just a week after remediation work began at Gould Manor Park — the first of a series of initiatives to clear contaminated soil from local parks and fields.

The work began last Thursday and is expected to conclude by Oct. 25. Next, the town plans to tackle remediation at Burroughs Soccer Field and Jennings Elementary School’s playgrounds.

Michelangelo, who served as the town’s public works director since 2012, is accused of conspiring with Scott Bartlett, the town’s superintendent of public works, and Jason Julian, co-owner of Julian Enterprises, to allow Julian’s company to dump truck loads of toxic waste onto property adjacent to the town’s public works garage.

Michelangelo was charged with second-degree forgery, conspiracy to commit second-degree forgery and illegal dumping charges. The judge continued the case on Thursday to Dec. 3.

“In cases involving public and political agitation, it is useful to keep the presumption of innocence in mind,” Michelangelo’s lawyer, Eugene Riccio, said as he and his client left the Fairfield County Courthouse.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Tamberlyn Conopask declined comment.

A motion by the prosecutor to keep documents in the case secret is scheduled for a hearing on Friday.

Bartlett and Julian are charged with multiple counts of first-degree larceny, first-degree forgery, second-degree forgery, conspiracy, paying and receiving kickbacks and illegal dumping charges.

Bartlett and Michelangelo were recently fired by the town.

Court documents state that Bartlett, who was in financial straits, agreed to allow Julian to dump the material at the site in exchange for monetary kickbacks and giving Bartlett’s son a job.

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 has contracted RED Technologies to clean up Gould Manor Park’s sidewalk, ridding the area of arsenic, lead and asbestos discovered there in August. The removal is expected to cost the town approximately $120,000, Conservation Director Bryan Carey told the Board of Finance on Oct. 1.

RED Technologies will also take the lead on projects at the other locations flagged for remediation, including Burroughs and Jennings. Low levels of asbestos, arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were discovered at 10 town sites over the course of a lengthy soil testing process.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau said that the town will next remediate Burroughs Soccer Field, where low levels of non-friable asbestos were detected.

The following project in the pipeline is Jennings Elementary School, where arsenic was found in the chemically-treated railroad ties surrounding both playscapes.

Although the state Department of Health has said there are no health exposure risks posed by these levels of contaminants, the town has previously said they will remediate these sites out of “an abundance of caution.”

These contaminants were discovered after the town tested 60 sites at local parks and fields that used fill from the town’s contaminated Public Works pile between 2013 and 2016, when it was managed by Julian Enterprises.

RED Technologies is currently developing cost and timing plans for the other sites requiring remediation.

Questions abounded at last week’s Board of Education meeting as to whether the seven other sites where contamination was detected will in fact be remediated. These sites include McKinley Elementary School, Old Dam Road Tennis Courts, Jennings Beach Playground, Mill Hill Elementary School, Ludlowe High School, Riverfield Elementary School and Osborn Hill Elementary School.

These questions arose after Jim Olsen, vice president of Tighe & Bond, said there is no remediation planned for Osborn Hill or Riverfield - sites the town had previously stated are safe but will be remediated out of an abundance of caution.

In response to questions about these sites’ statuses, Tetreau said the town is still working to evaluate them and will provide communication “shortly” as to whether remediation will take place.

“We’re just trying to get through one thing at a time and make sure that’s accurate,” Tetreau said.