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Cascino dumping trial shifts to the defense

Dec 14, 2010 11:25 am
Andrew Amelinckx of the Register Star, who will also be co-hosting the Difficult Histories program on WGXC starting Christmas Eve, continued his spot-on reporting on the criminal trial of Salvatore Cascino and his Bronx-based waste hauling company on two class A misdemeanors for allegedly illegally dumping debris in Clermont and releasing petroleum into the environment in today's paper. The latest developments saw finalization of the state's prosecution case, involving testimony from state Department of Environmental Conservation officials, and the start of Cascino's defense, led by veteran Albany-based attorney Dennis Schlenker, which drew several former DEC officials, and other county and private consultants, who spoke to the Clermont site's previous history as a dumping site where ordered remediation steps, including capping, were never finished. Key tension for the day seems to have come when Schlenker sought to have one of his own witnesses, a 31-year DEC official, declared "hostile" and disallowed, which the judge overrode. The witness spoke about how the refuse he investigate 20 years ago on what is known as the old LaMunyan landfill was on a different piece of property now owned by William Cole.

The state Attorney General’s Office indicted Cascino and his company in April on charges of operating an unpermitted landfill and fourth-degree endangering public health, safety, or the environment for allegedly releasing petroleum into the environment and illegally dumping more than 70 cubic yards of solid waste at an unpermitted facility off Route 9G, just south of Firehouse Road, in Clermont between Dec. 31, 2007 and July 2009.

The case is now being heard by a jury in Columbia County Supreme Court in Hudson, with Judge Jonathan Nichols presiding. Court was to resume at 9 a.m. this morning. For the full story click here.