In my blog post on June 6, 2008, I wrote about Gerald Lakota, a former environmental compliance employee at the Fujicolor facility in Terrell, Texas, who pled guilty to federal charges of falsifying water sample reports in an effort to hide the amount of silver in the facility’s discharges. At the time, Lakota faced up to five years in prison along with five years of supervised release and a $250,000.00 fine. On October 2, 2008, he was sentenced to two (2) years probation. The fine was waived as the Court found that Mr. Lakota did not have the financial ability to pay a fine.
On December 25, 2008, I received an e-mail on my original post as follows (the e-mail was not edited in any way):
I think it's backward when one has to lie to stay out of jail. The way I understand it. Gerald Lakota's lawyer advised him to plead guilty in order to get probation. They did not have the money to come to Texas and defend himself. Their lawyer said he would have lost in that case. He did maintenance on the machines and did not cherrypick any water testing. That was not his department. Being quality control he probably signed something that was cherry picked. He was not the water tester. He is not a chemist. He would not know if the testing was cherrypicked or not. But I think taking the guilt for this was a stab in the back. Who did the water testing anyway?
I was not involved in the case; however, none of the practitioners I know or have met would have advised Mr. Lakota to lie. However, as I was not involved in the case, I cannot say with any confidence that the assertions by “Tracey” are unfounded as it certainly does happen in the criminal justice system.
An interesting issue . . ..
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