Colorado Indicts Man in Asbestos Case

December 30, 2008

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced that the Statewide Grand Jury has indicted Richard Oliver on four felony charges involving asbestos removal and disposal. The charges include causing or contributing to a hazardous waste iIncident, knowing endangerment, and bribery of a witness.

The indictment alleges that between Jan. 1, 2008, and May 1, 2008, Oliver, through his company, Kingston Properties LLC, engaged in the illegal removal and dumping of materials containing asbestos during the renovation of his properties at 1920 Chester Street and 1921, 1931 and 1941 Clinton Street, in Aurora, Colo. According to the indictment, Oliver knowingly endangered at least three employees by exposing them to asbestos without their knowledge, failed to provide any warnings of the potential risks of the work, and failed to provide them with proper protection.

According to the indictment, Oliver was advised of the possible presence of asbestos at the Clinton Street properties by a state-trained and certified contractor who gave him a bid for the work in March of 2008. The state’s investigation was initiated after that contractor made a report to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, including an alleged statement made by Oliver that he would “hire a bunch of Mexicans” to do the removal for less. Oliver is also accused in the indictment of offering a monetary bribe to one of the alleged victims in return for providing altered testimony to the Statewide Grand Jury that would have shifted blame for the illegal activity to the contractor who filed the complaint.

The investigation was performed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, working in conjunction with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Colorado Environmental Task Force. The case has been filed in Adams County District Court. No appearance dates have been set by the court at this time. Oliver faces a possible sentence of 18 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Source: AG

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