Texas painting company and three individuals charged with multiple federal violations

On Sept. 4, Kerrville Painting Co. Inc., of Kerrville, Texas, Nick Mousakis, owner of Kerrville Painting, Cecil Zimmerman, a former supervisor for the company, and Kevin Foster, a former Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Inspector, were charged in U.S. District Court in Little Rock in a 47-count indictment that alleged they violated various federal laws while performing highway bridge contracts in northeast Arkansas in 1999 and 2000.

Sept. 16, 2003 -- On Sept. 4, Kerrville Painting Co. Inc., of Kerrville, Texas, Nick Mousakis, owner of Kerrville Painting, Cecil Zimmerman, a former supervisor for the company, and Kevin Foster, a former Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department Inspector, were charged in U.S. District Court in Little Rock in a 47-count indictment that alleged they violated various federal laws while performing highway bridge contracts in northeast Arkansas in 1999 and 2000.

Kerrville Painting is a contractor specializing in sandblasting and painting steel bridges, and is authorized to work on federal contracts in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Specifically, the indictment alleges a variety of felony counts including: conspiracy, disposal of hazardous waste without a permit, transportation of hazardous waste without a permit, discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States without a permit, theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, false statements and witness tampering.

Bridge sandblasting and painting generates wastes contaminated with lead which must be disposed of properly to avoid exposure of the public, fish and wildlife to lead and lead compounds. Lead exposure has the potential to cause neurological disorders, developmental disorders, birth defects, other illnesses and even death, if they enter the bloodstream at sufficient levels.

The case was investigated by the Houston Area Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Little Rock. The filing of charges is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.

More in Environmental