FORMER UTILITY OFFICIAL ADMITS TO FALSE STATEMENT

Source: 
Department of Justice

St. Louis - Dale Johansen, 63, of Rocky Mount, Missouri, pleaded guilty today to making a false statement during the course of an investigation of the Rogue Creek water and sewer system.

 

Johansen admitted in his plea agreement that Rogue Creek is a vacation community in Potosi, Missouri.  Johansen’s company, Johansen Consulting Services, LLC, became the receiver for the water and sewer provider and was responsible for overseeing the drinking and wastewater utilities beginning in 2012.  Since 1994, drinking water in Rogue Creek had been treated for lead after high levels of lead were detected in the water supply. A treatment system was first used and later replaced with a lead reduction system under the supervision of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

 

Johansen’s duties at Rogue Creek included the operation of the drinking water facilities and sampling and testing of the drinking water for lead.  A routine inspection of Rogue Creek drinking water in March 2016 revealed that the lead reduction system was not operational.  A subsequent investigation revealed that the Rogue Creek drinking water had not been treated for lead for approximately six months.  The Missouri Department of Natural Resources imposed a DO NOT DRINK order for the Rogue Creek system which was not lifted until May 2017.

 

Johansen admitted making a false statement to investigators in March 2016 that the lead reduction system had only been offline for six to eight weeks when in truth it had been offline for nearly six months.

 

The maximum penalty for making a false statement is five years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both.  Johansen appeared before U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig, who accepted his plea and set his sentencing date of January 29, 2018. 

 

The case was investigated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“The defendant’s actions exposed the residents of the Rogue Creek community to elevated levels of lead in their drinking water,” said EPA Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Martinez. ” This case shows that EPA and our law enforcement partners are committed to taking action to protect the public from lead exposure.”

 

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