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City, operator charged with violating CWA

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The City of Madison and a wastewater treatment plant operator have been charged with negligently violating the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Attorney Office filed charges Nov. 3 against the City of Madison and David W. Hawkins regarding a June 2007 incident. Hawkins, superintendent of the city's wastewater treatment plant, contacted the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in June 2007 for assistance when the wastewater plant began experiencing significant problems. IDEM officials said the biologic organisms weren't providing treatment and Hawkins should immediately remove 90,000 gallons of water into a separate tank in order to reseed the treatment system with live biologic organisms.

Instead, Hawkins left for the weekend without taking any actions. Partially treated and untreated waste and sewage got into the Ohio River June 8-10, 2007, according to the charging information filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.

Hawkins faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Madison faces a term of five years probation and up to a $150,000 fine. A hearing hasn't been set.

Also filed Tuesday in the New Albany Division were guilty plea agreements from Hawkins and Madison. As part of his agreement, Hawkins will surrender his Class III wastewater treatment operator license. The agreements are currently before the court for review.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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