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Perini sediment violations alleged

January 23, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

The Maryland attorney general's office has charged Hagerstown developer Dominick J. Perini with misdemeanor violations of moving sediment without a state-approved plan and leaving sediment in state water on Cresap Drive.

The attorney general's office announced the charges Thursday, 15 days after they were filed in Washington County Circuit Court.

Perini, 64, of 13601 Paradise Church Road, north of Hagerstown, is the president of Perini Construction Inc. in Washington County.

A message left for Perini at his office Thursday was returned by attorney Ronald Sarachan, who said he represents Perini.

Perini was charged with two counts of performing construction without an approved sediment control device and two counts of adding soil and sediment into state waters.

The misdemeanor charges were broken into two time periods - around Jan. 8, 2003, and between Jan. 9 andMarch 12, 2003.

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Charging documents do not detail the allegations against Perini, but Sarachan said they stem from a problem with a small bridge crossing Marsh Run.

The 70-year-old bridge, which is on the property at 19619 Cresap Drive off Marsh Pike, north of Hagerstown, was built using truck frames and concrete, Sarachan said. Water had been backing up near the bridge, apparently because of debris and beaver dams, he said.

To help fix the flooding, Perini installed a culvert, he said. A construction machine used there accidentally caught the edge of a truck frame and tugged it loose, pulling apart the bridge.

"With the frame gone, all of the water backed up has been eliminated," Sarachan said.

Sarachan would not say when the culvert was installed because that information is part of the attorney general's case.

The attorney general's office will not release further information about the charges, spokeswoman Jamie St. Onge said.

Conviction on a charge of not having an approved sediment control plan carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine, court papers say. Conviction on a charge of adding sediment to state water has a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Perini is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Jan. 29.

Sarachan said Perini is working with the Maryland Department of the Environment to correct the problem. The old bridge will be replaced with a new one, he said.

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