Senate Leader Robert J. Mellow sent all 50 state senators copies of a plea
agreement signed by Sen. William Slocum, who pleaded guilty in U.S. District
Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, to six counts of negligently
discharging pollutants. The plea
agreement outlines a 12-year pattern of criminal negligence by Slocum that
resulted in the discharge of 3.5 million gallons of raw sewage and sewage sludge
into the Allegheny Watershed. The
pollution occurred while Slocum supervised the operation of the Youngsville
sewage treatment plant.
reported that he shared the plea agreement with members of the Senate to foster
an informed debate about the appropriate Senate response to Senator Slocum's
Democrats attempted to censure Slocum as a result of his guilty pleas.
Republican senators defeated the censure attempt on a 20-28 vote that
split on party-lines.
said he hoped Slocum's Republican colleagues will reconsider their position
after reading the plea agreement. He
noted that Slocum has admitted that the agreement contains a "complete and
accurate account" of his conduct that reported 3.5 million gallons of raw
sewage and sludge from the Youngsville sewage treatment plant were dumped into
Brokenstraw Creek. Mellow said the
creek empties into the Allegheny River, which serves as a source of drinking
water for many communities in Western Pennsylvania.