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Only one dumping charge left against Cascino after Judge grants alleged dumper's attorneys a major point

Dec 15, 2010 7:41 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="The Columbia County Courthouse in Hudson, where the trial of Salvatore Cascino and Bronx County Recycling saw Judge Jonathan Nichols toss one of two charges related to alleged illegal dumping against the defendents, based on their counnsel's argument that the Clermont site involved had long been used for such purposes."][/caption]One count of a two count indictment against Salvatore Cascino and his Bronx-based waste hauling company was thrown out by the judge after the defense rested its illegal dumping case in Columbia County Supreme Court in Hudson Tuesday. Andrew Amelinckx of the Register Star has been on top of the unfolding courtroom drama, gripping in a modernist environmental sort of way, and reports from yesterday's action that Judge Jonathan Nichols Nichols, dismissed the first count against the defendants, agreeing with the defense's point that neither Bronx County Recycling nor Cascino had commenced operation of a new facility when they dumped at the Clermont site. The state attorney general's representative disagreed, equating dumping with commencing an operation. “When disposal takes place,” he argued, “you have the operation of a facility.” The judge countered, however, that based on the prosecution’s logic, anyone who dumped at the site was operating a solid waste management facility. The defense interjected that it was William Cole, as owner of the property, who should be considered the operator. It came out that Cole was given immunity from prosecution in the case.

The judge is allowing the second charge, endangering public health, safety, or the environment, to go to the jury.

Tuesday's defense witnesses for the Clermont-based case included two DEC officials, longstanding wildlife pathologist Ward Stone among them, who had investigated dumping at the site in the 1980s and 1990s. The defense argument is basically that the dumping under fire was a longtime accepted use, making it difficult to discern the origins of polluting matter such as gasoline, which they say was in negligible amounts.

The trial continues today at 10 a.m. with final summations and the jury deliberating on the one count left in the case.

For the full story click HERE...
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