Sean P. Doctor, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1989 and then spent 20 years as a city firefighter, has been charged with and has pled guilty to improper asbestos removal and disposal, facing a hefty fine and a year in prison.
The former Marshall University star running back founded his own asbestos removal company about eight years ago. Now age 50, with his football years behind him, Doctor seems to not always play by the rulebook, admitting to filing a false hazardous waste manifest in regards to a job his company completed at Roosevelt Park in Buffalo, NY in 2010.
Also pleading guilty in the case is Raj Chopra and Comprehensive Employment Management Inc., the Grand Island, NY company he owns. Chopra faces up to six months in prison and a fine of about $25,000.
Both men who likely ask for leniency and will hope for probation rather than a jail sentence.
The guilty pleas in the asbestos case are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police and the New York State Department of Labor’s Asbestos Control Bureau, all in regards to Doctor’s and Chopra’s multiple violations of the U.S. Clean Air Act.
The violations pertained not only to the Roosevelt Park job but also two additional jobs in Buffalo. According to an article in the Buffalo News, authorities found that the asbestos materials in question at each site were not properly secured when out in the open nor were proper disposal procedures followed when it was time to get rid of the material.
That meant asbestos fibers could have blown about in the wind and may have affected individuals living or working in the area.
Unfortunately, situations like this one happen quite frequently. Contractors or so-called abatement specialists decide they can save some money by cutting a few corners.
As such, they fail to do what it takes to both remove and dispose of asbestos in a proper fashion. Such shoddy workmanship often puts workers at risk as well as those who are unlucky enough to be in the area when asbestos is removed.
When old, friable asbestos sits out in the open, fibers from the crumbling material can become airborne. As a result, anyone in the vicinity could inhale these fibers.
Though the chance of getting sick due to asbestos exposure increases with the level of exposure, researchers maintain that no level of exposure is too small to cause eventual illness, including a diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.