Crestwood officials indicted over well water

August 11, 2011

Two former water department officials from suburban Crestwood were indicted Thursday for allegedly lying to environmental regulators about the village's drinking water.

Frank Scaccia, a retired certified water operator, and Theresa Neubauer, a former water department supervisor, allegedly lied to regulators for more than 20 years about using a water well to supplement Crestwood's drinking water supply from Lake Michigan.

Scaccia's employment with the Village was terminated in 2010. Neubauer is the Village's chief of police, and she's been placed on administrative leave pending further review. The two have been charged with 23 counts.

The city of Chicago tests and treats Lake Michigan water for contaminants. And municipalities that purchase the water are exempt from monitoring it for certain contaminants. But Crestwood officials allegedly chose not to report the use of the well and did not conduct the required testing of the water.

Vinyl chloride, a carcinogen, had been detected in the Crestwood water. The well in question has been shut down since 2007.

The federal indictment does not allege the actions of the Crestwood officials put residents or the environment at risk.

In a statement, the Village of Crestwood says it's "saddened" by the indictment. Village officials say they are cooperating in the government's investigation. But the Village says the indictment confirms that there is "not now and never has been any concern with the safety or quality of the drinking water in Crestwood."

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