– A Bronx, N.Y., man was sentenced
to prison today for releasing hazardous
asbestos dust and debris at a church in
Paterson by removing asbestos insulation
without a license and without observing
federal and state laws intended to protect
health and safety, Attorney General Anne
Maple, 51, of Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced
to three years in state prison by Superior
Court Judge Marilyn C. Clark in Passaic
County. Maple pleaded guilty on July 16
to an accusation charging him with knowingly
causing the unlawful release of a toxic
unlawful asbestos removal led to the release
of asbestos throughout the Friendship Baptist
Church at 433 Park Avenue in Paterson, including
an area that is leased to a daycare center,
A Whole New World Daycare.
investigation by the Division of Criminal
Justice Environmental Crimes Bureau revealed
that Maple, a church member who works as
a boiler repairman in New York, was not
licensed to perform asbestos removal, as
required by law, but contracted with the
church to remove the asbestos insulation
from the church’s basement for $6,200.
Deputy Attorneys General Phillip Leahy and
Betty Rodriguez prosecuted the case and
handled today’s sentencing.
defendant put his personal profits ahead
of the health of congregation members and
young children who attended day care in
this church building,” said Attorney
General Milgram. “While he had no
license to remove asbestos, he clearly knew
the hazardous nature of what he was doing,
as evidenced by the respirator and plastic
suit he wore to protect his own health.”
December 2007, a plumbing company was called
to the church to repair leaking steam pipes
leading from the basement boiler. The pipes
were covered with asbestos insulation, so
the plumbing company insisted that all asbestos
needed to be removed before the repair,
including asbestos insulated pipes that
were left on the basement floor from a prior
repair. The church solicited bids for the
asbestos removal, and Maple offered and
was hired to do the work.
chairman of the board of trustees of the
church, Roosevelt McFadden of Hackensack,
was responsible for hiring and paying Maple.
The Division of Criminal Justice obtained
an indictment on Sept. 25 charging McFadden
with violation of the Asbestos Control and
Licensing Act (3rd degree) and unlawful
release of a toxic pollutant (3rd degree).
indictment alleges that McFadden acted recklessly
by hiring Maple without inquiring whether
Maple had a license to remove asbestos.
McFadden knew that asbestos removal is a
hazardous, regulated activity for which
a contractor must have a license.
charges against McFadden are pending. The
indictment is merely an accusation and he
is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence
of five years in prison and $15,000 fine.
removed insulation from the pipes and boiler
with two assistants on Dec. 21, 2007. While
they wore plastic jump suits and respirators
to protect themselves and hung plastic in
doorways, they did not follow the requirements
of federal and state laws to prevent the
release of toxic asbestos dust and debris.
by a member of the congregation led to the
church hiring an air monitoring firm on
Feb. 1, 2008. The firm discovered elevated
levels of asbestos throughout the first
floor of the building, including the area
leased to the daycare center. The church
and daycare center were then shut down for
several days while the asbestos dust was
removed by a licensed asbestos abatement
Steven Ogulin, Lieutenant Jeffrey Gross,
Detective Dawn Ryan and Deputy Attorneys
General Phillip Leahy and Betty Rodriguez
conducted and coordinated the investigation
for the Environmental Crimes Bureau. The
matter was referred to the Environmental
Crimes Bureau by the New Jersey Department
of Health and Senior Services. The New Jersey
Department of Labor, New Jersey Department
of Community Affairs, Paterson Building
Department and Passaic County Sheriff’s
Department assisted in the investigation.