MARINETTE—Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Wednesday announced the Dec. 15 conviction of former Wausaukee Wastewater Treatment Plant employee Lonnie Bamberg for one count of falsification of records pertaining to pollution discharge elimination in Marinette County.
Bamberg, now of Schofield, Wis., was sentenced to a financial penalty with a fine, costs and surcharges totaling $4,853 for the misdemeanor.
Bamberg worked as the operator in charge of the Village of Wausaukee Wastewater Treatment Plant. Duties of this position required Bamberg to conduct testing and maintain records related to the pollution discharge at this location, Kaul said in a statement. Bamberg failed to perform certain testing related to the biological oxygen demand and total suspended solids in the influent and effluent water at this location, according to Kaul.
He added that Bamberg failed to perform this testing for an extended period of time. Instead of testing and recording the results, Bamberg falsified the required records.
“Testing for pollutants helps protect Wisconsinites’ health,” Kaul said. “Failing to conduct the required testing and falsifying records is a violation of the public trust.”
Bamberg was fired on Nov. 15 by the late Hilbert “Slug” Radtke, who was village president at the time. The village board unanimously approved the termination the next day.
According to court records, the fraud was first discovered more than three years ago by Jeff Mayou, the operator in charge of the Peshtigo Wastewater Treatment Plant at the time. Mayou had trained Bamberg for the position of operator in charge at the Wausaukee plant. Bamberg told board members he did not perform the tests because he was in over his head, court records state.
Circuit Judge Jim Morrison admonished Bamberg for his crime.
This investigation was led by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources—Bureau of Law Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by Wisconsin Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Nathaniel Adamson. The Wisconsin Department of Justice also provided victim services.