– Attorney General Anne Milgram and
Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw
announced today that a Southampton contractor
was indicted on charges he falsified documents
to make it appear that truckloads of contaminated
soil from a state bridge project in Trenton
were taken to an approved landfill, when
he actually dumped them at a farm in Burlington
to Paw, James E. Haas Jr., 64, of Southampton,
was indicted by a state grand jury on a
second-degree charge of making false payment
claims for a government contract and two
fourth-degree charges of falsifying records.
The case was investigated by the Division
of Criminal Justice - Major Crimes/Environmental
Section, with help from the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP). The Burlington
County Health Department referred the matter
to the Division of Criminal Justice and
provided valuable assistance.
contractor allegedly tried to turn a pile
of dirt into a pile of cash by completely
ignoring state law and contract requirements,”
said Attorney General Milgram. “Fortunately,
the fraudulent scheme was uncovered through
the work of state and county investigators,
and the DEP arranged for the contaminated
soil to be disposed of properly.”
was hired as a subcontractor for the state
Department of Transportation’s Southard
Street Bridge project in Trenton to dispose
of a large quantity of contaminated soil
that was stockpiled at the project site.
The subcontract required that the soil be
disposed of as non-hazardous industrial
dry waste at a DEP-approved facility. While
the soil was suitable for use as daily cover
at the Burlington County Landfill, an approved
disposal facility, the county had an adequate
supply of cover and would not accept the
soil from the Southard Street Bridge site.
state investigation determined that from
Aug. 7 to Aug. 10, 2006, Haas removed more
than 400 truckloads of contaminated soil
from the Southard Street Bridge site and
allegedly dumped them on a farm at 400 Hartford
Road in Moorestown, which was not an approved
disposal facility. The farm owner believed
it was clean fill. The indictment alleges
that to meet the contract requirements,
Haas submitted bills of lading that indicated
the soil went to the Burlington County Landfill.
He also allegedly submitted fabricated weigh
tickets for each truckload to support his
claim that they went to the landfill.
Department of Transportation contract included
requirements and safeguards to ensure that
this contaminated soil went to an approved
facility, but this defendant allegedly lied
and fabricated paperwork in a brazen attempt
to skirt those requirements,” said
oversaw the removal of the soil from the
farm in Moorestown to an approved landfill
facility, where it was used for cover.
than stay on the straight and narrow, as
his contract and the law required, this
contractor allowed greed to steer him in
the wrong direction. He now must face the
consequences of deliberately cutting corners
at the expense of the environment,"
DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson said.
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a $150,000 criminal
fine, while fourth-degree crimes carry a
maximum sentence of 18 months in prison
and a $10,000 fine.
indictment is merely an accusation and the
defendant is presumed innocent until proven
Indictment (144k pdf) plug-in
case was presented to the state grand jury
by Supervising Deputy Attorney General Edward
R. Bonanno of the Major Crimes/Environmental
Section. It was investigated by Supervising
State Investigator Jeffrey Gross and State
Investigator Steven Ogulin of the Division
of Criminal Justice, with assistance from
the DEP and the Burlington County Health
indictment was handed up late yesterday
in Superior Court in Mercer County, where
Haas will be ordered to appear at a later
date to be arraigned on the charges.