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Watertown man, former corrections officer, indicted on illegal asbestos abatement charge

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WATERTOWN — A former state corrections officer who lost his job in November after being convicted of having stolen property has been indicted on allegations that he illegally removed asbestos from an Academy Street residence.

Aaron A. Netto, 36, of 23997 County Route 159, faces two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and single counts of third-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment, second-degree making an apparently false sworn statement and tampering with physical evidence.

The charges were contained in a grand jury indictment handed up Monday in Jefferson County Court.

The indictment charges that between Oct. 4 and Oct. 9, he knowingly conducted an illegal asbestos abatement at 222 Academy St. which released more than 1,000 pounds of friable and nonfriable materials containing asbestos, a hazardous substance, into the environment.

It also charges that he created a substantial risk of serious injury to his employees or friends who were renovating the house by not providing them the proper personal protective equipment needed to conduct an asbestos abatement. It is further claimed that he created a health risk to neighbors by releasing the asbestos into the environment.

The charges claim that on Oct. 9, while knowing that a Bobcat skid steer was about to be used in an official legal proceeding, he moved the equipment from the Academy Street site and hid it somewhere else. He also is accused of making a false statement in an affidavit he provided Oct. 28.

Mr. Netto is serving three years’ probation imposed in County Court in November after he pleaded guilty in September to four counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, attempted tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy. Mr. Netto was charged in a grand jury indictment handed up in March 2013 with possessing a refrigerator stolen from Value Homes, two generators stolen from Three Phase Line Construction, a Wacker tamper owned by Con Tech Building Systems, a Stihl chain saw stolen from Act II Construction and scaffolding belonging to McQuade & Bannigan. It also was alleged that he conspired with others to possess the stolen goods and that during the course of the police investigation into the matter, he moved the tamper from his residence to another location, resulting in the tampering with evidence charge.

As part of a plea agreement in that matter, he had to resign his position as a corrections officer at Riverview Correctional Facility, Ogdensburg.

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