Division of Waste Management
EX-CLAY COUNTY OFFICIAL INDICTED: Allegedly inflated bids for cleaning up illegal dumps

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 27, 2007  
Contact Information:  Chuck Wolfe, Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, 502-564-5525  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 27, 2007) – The former solid waste coordinator for Clay County has been indicted for allegedly misusing information that was the basis for bids submitted to the state for cleaning up illegal dumps in his county.

Joe Swafford was indicted by the Clay County grand jury on March 21 on 19 counts of  misuse of confidential information by a public official, a Class D felony,  and one count of official misconduct in the first degree, a Class A misdemeanor.

The indictment followed a criminal investigation by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) in 2005. Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Gregory recently took the case to the grand jury.

The alleged misconduct is in connection with the process for soliciting bids and awarding contracts for open dump cleanups under state Kentucky Pride funding. The fund was established by the 2002 General Assembly with revenue from a $1.75-per-ton environmental remediation fee on waste disposed at Kentucky landfills. EPPC’s Division of Waste Management (DWM) administers the fund. Clay County entered into a memorandum of agreement in November 2004 to clean up 23 dump sites and to be reimbursed from Kentucky Pride funds.

Swafford submitted two contractor bids to EPPC in May 2005 that reflected estimates from the county. For 20 of the dump sites, DWM inspectors arrived at estimates that collectively were $2.2 million below the county’s estimates.

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