Employees Convicted In Tennessee Wastewater Case

Sept. 29, 2006

The former director of Mount Pleasant’s Department of Public Works in Columbia, Tenn., and his son have been found guilty of falsifying documents associated with the town’s sewage treatment plant.

According to The Daily Herald, James Michael Holden, plant manager, was found guilty of falsifying water testing data. He could face up to five years in prison, and up to a $25,000 fine. He was also found guilty for impeding an EPA investigation by attempting to cover up his crime. This charge could lead to 20 years in prison.

Holden’s father James Larry Holden, Mount Pleasant public works director, was convicted only of falsifying data.

During the trial, prosecutors showed evidence of the plant’s monthly operating reports, signed by Mike Holden. The EPA auditors found the reports to be abnormally consistent and improbable.

In addition, during an EPA inspection of the plant in August 2003, agents found the June bench sheets to be blank. However, when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents searched the plant in April 2004, the sheets were no longer blank.

One of the sewage department employees, Matt Roddy, testified that the Holdens and City Manager Bob Murray instructed him to falsify data.

Sentencing will take place December 18.

Source: The Daily Herald

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