Daily Archives: June 9, 2014

Contractor admits bungling Kensington Heights asbestos work

By Phil Fairbanks, http://www.buffalonews.comDanger Asbestos

During their work at the Kensington Heights housing complex, Ernest Johnson’s employees dumped asbestos down holes cut in the floor.

They also failed to adequately treat the cancer-causing material while it sat waiting for leak-tight containers.

One of the consequences, the former contractor acknowledged Wednesday, was the repeated release of asbestos into the environment around the East Side complex.

Johnson’s admissions Wednesday are part of a plea deal in which he acknowledged his company’s role in bungling the five-year-old clean-up effort of Kensington Heights, a collection of vacant public housing towers.

“There was asbestos left in the buildings,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango.

By pleading guilty to violating the federal Clean Air Act, Johnson became the most important defendant to admit guilt in the case.

His company, Johnson Contracting of Western New York, was accused of orchestrating a scheme designed to cut corners at Kensington Heights and then cover it up. Read more