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Massena School Groundskeeper Admits To Falsifying Asbestos Documents

Source: The Associated Press

UTICA, N.Y. -- A 48-year-old school official has admitting filing false reports about asbestos removal in school buildings.

According to federal prosecutors, Benny Gladding, of Norfolk, pleaded guilty in federal court to two charges in his role as buildings and grounds superintendent for the Massena Central School District.

He was responsible for overseeing removal of asbestos in school buildings and reporting on the condition of asbestos. The material was once widely used as an insulating material and can be harmful if its particles are inhaled.

Gladding admitted lying to environmental officers a year ago, telling them he had never removed asbestos illegally. He also admitted failing to report in late 2006 the significant friable asbestos on the ground in Jefferson Elementary School that had been on pipes.

Prosecutors said Gladding has agreed to resign at sentencing scheduled July 11.