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December 2006

Waste Management’s relationship with two board members from New York town questioned

Sardinia, NY— John N. Blair, Esquire acting on behalf of two residents of the Town of Sardinia has filed a Petition in the State of New York Supreme Court, County of Erie to compel the examination before trial of Carla Fuller and Matthew Mumbach, two Sardinia Town Board members.

According to Attorney Blair, the Public Integrity Unit of the New York State Attorney General's Office has confirmed that a file has been opened to investigate Sardinia Town Board members' relationships with Waste Management and previous CID landfill owner, Richard Penfold.

According to the State of New York Attorney General's office website, The Public Integrity Unit brings civil and criminal actions to vindicate the public's interest in honest government and the integrity of governmental officials at the state and local level. Specifically, the Unit handles complex investigations into government corruption, fraud and abuse of authority.

According to Mr. Blair, "The investigation was prompted by a letter to the Attorney General highlighting Ms. Fuller's appearance in a marketing video promoting Waste Management."

Sardinia Town Board members, Matthew Mumbach and Carla Fuller were in charge of a committee which changed the Town's proposed Comprehensive Plan, wrote zoning to accommodate a landfill expansion and executed a host municipality agreement. The Petition seeking to depose Mumbach and Fuller alleges that "one or more residents of the Town has been contacted by the New York State Attorney General's Public Integrity Unit and a preliminary investigation is underway regarding the relationship between WMNY (Waste Management of New York), the Town, and certain of the Town's Board Members."

The Petition further alleges that Mumbach, Fuller and possibly others have failed to protect the health of the residents of Sardinia by not enforcing the Host Municipality Agreement (HMA). The HMA states that WMNY will "operate the landfill in all respects in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations". The Petition continues to allege that "the landfill is a public nuisance to the residents of the Town in that it produces noxious odors and toxic gases that are a serious threat to the health and well being of the Town's citizens."

Neither the Town of Sardinia nor the Town's insurance company will defend the two officials with respect to the claims made in the Petition. Waste Management's law firm, Harris Beach, PLLC of Exchange Street, Buffalo, has decided to represent Mumbach and Fuller.

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