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Oklahoma State Contract Inspector Gets Jail Time for Accepting Bribes and Falsifying Documents in a Hazardous Materials Disposal Case

On September 26, Michael Zacker, former inspector for KTA-Tator, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, OK to 12 months in prison and 24 months supervised release following his May 26, 2005 guilty plea 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 admitted to accepting two bribes totaling $3,000 in exchange for falsifying waste analysis reports and other documents which allowed J&N to dispose of the debris in non-hazardous waste landfills - thus saving the company thousands of dollars at the expense of increasing risk to public health. Sentencing is pending for J&N and its president who pled guilty in May 2005 on related charges. This is a joint investigation with EPA-CID.