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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : City Settles Waste Case

December 08, 1987

The City of Whittier has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully dumping hazardous wastes--for nearly two decades--into a dirt pit in the city's maintenance yard.

In a plea bargain in Whittier Municipal Court, the city agreed Friday to clean up the site, serve one year of probation, contribute $5,000 to an earthquake relief fund and produce a half-hour film about the proper identification and disposal of hazardous wastes.

Four city officials were charged in September, 1986, with routinely dumping solvents and paint thinners into shallow trenches in the yard. As part of the plea bargain, charges against three of them--Louis Sandoval, director of public services; Vergil Haight, director of public works, and David Bradbury, mechanical superintendent--were dismissed.

A Feb. 24 trial was scheduled for Ralph Williams, who retired several months ago after 25 years as street and maintenance superintendent. Williams has pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor count of illegal waste disposal.

Deputy Dist. Atty. John Lynch said Williams was not included in the plea bargain because he "was responsible for the sumps; it was basically his idea."

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