Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty After Lying During OSHA Investigation

May 20, 2020

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the owner of a Somerset County, N.J., construction company has pleaded guilty to one count of felony perjury brought by the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sentenced Robert Riley of Far Hills, N.J., owner of RSR Home Construction LLC, to two years of probation and fined him $5,500 for lying under oath during an investigation that began in May 2018.

OSHA initiated the investigation after two separate incidents in which two RSR Home Construction employees suffered serious injuries after falling through an unguarded skylight while making roof repairs.

In administrative proceedings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the company agreed to affirm citations and a $50,000 penalty for one willful and three serious violations for lack of fall protection and other safety deficiencies.

In a sworn deposition taken during OSHA’s investigation, Riley testified under oath that he never instructed or authorized anyone to perform work on the roofs. However, Riley’s text messages to construction workers revealed he directed a worker to begin repairs on the roof of the barn structure where the injuries occurred.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey prosecuted the case, with assistance from OSHA’s Area Office in Parsippany, N.J., and the department’s Office of Inspector General and the New York Regional Office of the Solicitor of Labor, which also litigated the administrative citation case before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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