Saratoga County

County Waste accused of defrauding town of Colonie

Town of Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan said her office is cooperating with state officials in the in
New York State Environmental Conservation Officer Jason DeAngelis stops a County Waste collection truck as it attempts to enter the company’s transfer station on Route 9 in Clifton Park Thursday morning.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
New York State Environmental Conservation Officer Jason DeAngelis stops a County Waste collection truck as it attempts to enter the company’s transfer station on Route 9 in Clifton Park Thursday morning.

Town Supervisor Paula Mahan said her office is cooperating with state officials in the investigation of allegations that County Waste & Recycling bilked the town out of $15 million by dumping more garbage at the town landfill than it paid for.

Investigators from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Attorney General’s office arrived early today at the landfill on Route 9 as part of an ongoing probe into allegations by a whistleblower against County Waste.

The company, one of the region’s largest waste haulers, was fined $10,000 earlier this year by DEC for illegal waste disposal in Troy.

Mahan said the latest complaint alleges that town landfill workers failed to weigh the trucks when they arrived at the landfill or trucks would go around the scales. The allegations are contained in a sealed complaint filed in Albany County by a former employee at County Waste in Clifton Park, according to Mahan. She said the investigation dates back to 2007.

Court officials said the sealed complaint could only be opened by court order.

“My office has been cooperating with Attorney General [Andrew] Cuomo to assist in any aspect of the investigation,” Mahan said at a news conference this afternoon at Town Hall. “To that extent, I want to assure the taxpayers of the town that in the event it is determined there is wrongdoing on the part of anybody affiliated with this town, I will demand accountability and will do everything in my power to make sure the taxpayers are made whole.”

No arrests were made today, and Mahan said there have been no personnel changes at the landfill as a result of the probe.

Based on input from concerned employees and residents and an internal review, Mahan said she was concerned that activities at the landfill were not being scrutinized adequately. She requested an audit be done at the landfill, and results are expected next week.

“Unfortunately, the allegations we learned of this morning may confirm my worst suspicion,” said Mahan.

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