Trial begins for former Gary Sanitary operator
By Teresa Auch Schultz email@example.com October 29, 2012 4:24PM
Updated: December 1, 2012 6:25AM
A federal criminal trial against United Water Services, which operated the Gary Sanitary District for about 10 years, kicked off Monday with jury selection at the U.S. District Court in Hammond.
The government charged United Water and two former employees, Gregory Ciaccio and Dwain Bowie, in 2010 with water-testing tampering, claiming the company manipulated the amount of chlorine used to kill off E. coli bacteria so that sample tests would come out OK.
The case has already been contentious, with United Water arguing several times to two federal judges that the raising and lowering of chlorine had to do with the amount of water being used by people at different points throughout the day and was a standard practice.
However, federal attorneys have said in recent court filings that Bowie and Ciaccio routinely told employees under their supervision at the GSD plant that they needed to cut costs and would yell at employees if they didn’t turn the chlorine levels down right after test samples were taken.
Both sides filed motions to exclude each other’s expert witnesses, although U.S. Judge Philip Simon ruled against most of them. They also disagreed over a basic statement of what the case is about.
The trial is expected to last about three weeks.