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Violating the Clean Water Act in Connection with the Improper Use of $80,000 of FHWA Funds

On July 13, Ronald T. Arthur, an engineering project manager at M-DOT, and Lesley Peterson, a former M-DOT district construction engineer, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Billings, MT to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act by directing a contractor under a Federal-aid road construction project to dispose of waste material in designated wetlands. Our investigation found that a change order was improperly issued by M-DOT in 2006 to the contractor, directing the removal of this waste material from the wetlands. M-DOT received approximately $80,000 in Federal funds related to the change order, but subsequently reimbursed FHWA in full. Peterson retired from M-DOT in 2002. Sentencing for both men is scheduled for October 26, 2006. This was a joint investigation with EPA/CID.