The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a government agency entrusted to protect, preserve and prevent harm to our environment. It is perhaps one of the most important agencies designed to serve the people, much like the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However in our current day and age, whether one is talking about protecting the health of our environment or the health of our people, it appears that corruption and greed runs deep.
Gordon McDonald was an EPA Project Manager entrusted with the cleanup of 2 New Jersey superfund cleanup sites (hazardous waste sites). A New Jersey jury recently convicted McDonald on 10 counts of fraud, including but not limited to, rigging contractor bids and accepting kickbacks in the amount of 1.5 million dollars. In addition to McDonald's conviction, 8 other individuals and 3 companies pleaded guilty to co-conspiracy charges. Assistant attorney general Bill Baer declared victory by stating, "Today's guilty verdict sends a clear message that corrupt purchasing officials will be held accountable for engaging in fraudulent schemes designed to undermine the government's competitive contracting practices."
Many people believe that our governmental agencies are unadulterated and are all we need to protect our environment, food and drug supply. However, this most recent conviction casts doubt on the credibility of governmental agencies designed to "serve the people." From the food we eat, to the medicine we ingest, to going for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico, if you think it's safe just because the governement says so, then it would serve your best interest to think again.
McDonald is scheduled for sentencing on January 6, 2014 and faces up to 59 years in prison and over 1.5 million dollars in fines.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.