Owner Sentenced After Near Death Of Employee

Press Release

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Denise Sheehan announced the sentencing of a Bronx company and its owner for reckless endangerment and environmental crimes following an incident in which an employee nearly died from exposure to illegally released hazardous substances.

After a three-week trial before the Honorable Michael Gross, a Bronx jury found John Chiapperino and his company, Bronx Auto Venture, guilty of one count of Endangering Public Health, Safety or the Environment in the Second Degree, a felony, and two counts of Endangering Public Health, Safety or the Environment in the Fourth Degree, a misdemeanor.

Chiapperino, the corporation, and the yard manager, Sinforiano Calix, were also convicted of one count of Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree. Judge Gross sentenced defendant Chiapperino to 6 months in jail followed by four and half years probation. Defendant Bronx Auto Venture was ordered to pay a $16,000 fine. In addition, Judge Gross ordered that both defendants hire an environmental consultant to remediate the Bronx Auto Venture site and restore it to an uncontaminated original state.

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