Contractor could face criminal charges for asbestos exposure

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 20, 2015 at 3:11 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

OKAWVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois contractor whose companies were fined nearly $2 million for federal workplace safety violations involving asbestos exposure could face a criminal inquiry.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Joseph Kehrer of Albers, Kehrer Brothers Construction and an affiliated roofing company $1.939 million last week after finding that at least eight Mexican guest workers participating in the H-2B visa program were deprived of required safety equipment while working at an Okawville school.

OSHA spokesman Scott Allen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1JizWDz ) that the agency is considering whether to refer the case to the U.S. Justice Department "for possible criminal charges."

OSHA alleges that Kehrer threatened to fire workers, who would then be deported, if they talked to its investigators. The companies can appeal the federal decision.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast