Former Fairfield official, construction head plead in dumping case
BRIDGEPORT — A former Fairfield town official and the head of a local construction company pleaded not guilty Tuesday in connection with an alleged scheme to dump contaminated waste on town property.
Scott Bartlett, the town’s former superintendent of public works, and Jason Julian, co-owner of Julian Enterprises, pleaded not guilty separately before Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander to multiple counts of first-degree larceny, first-degree forgery, second-degree forgery, conspiracy, paying and receiving kickbacks and illegal dumping charges.
They asked for jury trials.
The judge continued the case to Nov. 20. Neither of the men nor their lawyers would comment as they left the Fairfield County Courthouse.
Joseph Michelangelo, 57, the town’s former Director of Public Works, who is charged with second-degree forgery, conspiracy to commit second-degree forgery and illegally dumping charges, is to be in court on Oct. 17.
Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Tamberlyn Conopask declined comment on the case.
The cleanup of the DPW site has cost Fairfield taxpayers more than $779,000, and that figure is expected to go higher as more locations with possibly contaminated fill are discovered, according to court documents.
Both Bartlett and Michelangelo were recently fired by the town.
The 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.
“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. In the past six weeks, 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.