May 26, 2005
Oklahoma State Contract Inspector Pleads Guilty in Hazardous Materials Disposal Case
On May 26, Michael Zacker, former inspector for KTA-Tator, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, OK to one count of conspiracy. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation had contracted with KTA-Tator to provide inspection services on two federally-funded highway projects involving sandblasting lead-based paint from bridges and disposing of the hazardous waste by another contractor, J&N International Coatings, Inc. (J&N). Zacker accepted bribes totaling $3,000 in exchange for falsifying waste analysis reports and other documents which allowed J&N to dispose the debris in non-hazardous waste landfills - thus saving the company thousands of dollars in disposal fees at the expense of increasing risk to public health. Sentencing is pending for Zacker, as well as for J&N, and its president and secretary/treasurer, who recently pled guilty on related charges. This is a joint investigation with EPA-CID.