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Former JL French manager pleads guilty

Keywords: Tags  daniel evanoff, JL French, EPA, daniel fitzgerald

NEW YORK — A former manager at the Glasgow, Ky., operation of aluminum diecaster JL French Automotive Castings Inc. has pleaded guilty to charges that he and co-conspirators falsified records and tampered with monitoring devices to mislead the Environmental Protection Agency over the facility’s furnace emissions.

Daniel Evanoff, 61, entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in western Kentucky to a two-charge indictment for violations between 2007 and November 2009, when he was North American alloy manager at the Sheboygan, Wis.-based company, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney David J. Hale.

"In Evanoff’s plea entered in open court, he admitted that he and others agreed to create false records concealing that JL French improperly exceeded production and air emissions limits. In count two of the indictment, Evanoff admitted that he directed others to install a temperature resistor on air pollution control equipment to create a false temperature reading and to make it appear as though the pollution control equipment was operating properly," the statement said.

EPA emissions regulations mandated that the site could not exceed 80 ladles of molten aluminum per day. The indictment alleged that "several co-conspirators under reported the amount of aluminum produced on documents required to be maintained for the EPA" and that "e-mails sent by co-conspirators to Evanoff showed actual production exceeding what was reported on the EPA records on multiple occasions."

The indictment also alleged that Evanoff instructed and directed co-conspirators to install a temperature resistor that would falsely indicate a lower inlet temperature on the baghouse filter system and that he also instructed that the temperature resistor be removed to prevent its discovery by inspectors from the Kentucky Department of Air Quality.

Evanoff faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $500,000 fine when he is sentenced July 2.

"We’re fully committed to compliance with EPA regulations," a JL French spokesman told AMM. "Over the last few years, management has had numerous meetings with employees emphasizing our compliance and that they should raise any potential issues with management."

Evanoff’s lawyer declined to comment.

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