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Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 @ 12:03 PM
DAYTON — A series of indictments have been handed down that allege illegal dumping involving a prominent Dayton-area businessman.
Steve R. Rauch Inc. President Steve R. Rauch is being charged in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court with a number of felonies. One of his managers and two of his businesses are also charged in the indictments.
The indictment lists the address of 4000 Hydraulic Road. That is city of West Carrollton property, which Rauch was permitted to use a dump site in 2016.
Tons of illegally dumped materials were discovered at that site when Rauch was allowed to dump there.
Here is what we know about the issue:
• Who investigated? The investigation is being led by the Southern District of Ohio Financial and Electronic Crimes Task Force, a partnership that includes the U.S. Secret Service, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and local law enforcement agencies, including West Carrollton police.
Secret Service spokesperson Kevin Dye said the organization is working with Ohio EPA on this case. He said the search warrant used in December 2016 at Rauch’s properties is still sealed, and an investigation by the task force is still active.
“The U.S. Secret Service, as a matter of policy, does not comment on active investigations,” he said.
• Who is charged? Rauch, 63, faces five counts. Jennifer M. Copeland, listed as operations manager at SRI Inc., is charged with four counts, according to court records. SRI Inc. faces four counts, and Bearcreek Farms Inc. is charged with one count.
• The charges: Rauch is charged with three counts of open dumping and burning and two counts of operating a solid waste facility without a license. Copeland is charged with three counts of open dumping and burning, as well as a single count of illegal operation or maintenance of a construction or demolition debris facility.
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SRI faces three counts of open dumping and burning, and one count of illegal operation or maintenance of a construction or demolition debris facility. Bearcreek Farms was indicted on charges of operating a solid waste facility without a license.
• Rauch in court: Rauch is scheduled to appear on the charges Dec. 13 before Judge Michael Krumholtz, according to court records.
• Rauch history: Rauch provides demolition, excavation and trucking services through his companies Steve Rauch Inc., Rauch Trucking and SRI. His businesses do private work and have received millions of dollars in local and federal contracts, including work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and for the city of Dayton.
•Rauch in Dayton: Rauch had all his contracts with the city of Dayton terminated in 2014 and didn’t do work for the city for several years after the city found Rauch’s workers used improper fill material after home demolitions, a Dayton Daily News investigation found last year.
Rauch had contracted with the city of Dayton for millions of dollars in demolition work prior to the roughly two-year hiatus from doing city work. He denied the stoppage was in any way involuntary, saying his company was simply too busy to do work at the rates the city was paying him.
But a Daily News examination of city records show Dayton terminated four contracts totaling $1.4 million with Rauch’s company — SRI — in 2014 after city officials said his workers “used improper fill at numerous demolition sites,” according to a November 2014 letter to Rauch’s attorney from the city.
He has since resumed receiving contracts with the city, the newspaper found.
• West Carrollton land: The investigation into illegal dumping at the West Carrollton site dates back nearly three years. In early February 2016, state and local health officials found illegal dumping on city of West Carrollton land at 4000 Hydraulic Road near the Great Miami River.
• Large-scale dumping: More than 30 tons of illegally dumped materials — including about 13 tons of mixed irons — were removed from city-owned land at 4000 Hydraulic Road in 2016, according to local health officials.
• Suspect identified early: In February 2016, West Carrollton said in a letter to local health officials that the city intended to meet with “the entity we believe is the offending party to present our evidence and offer the opportunity for that party to voluntarily cooperate” to correct the violation.
MORE COVERAGE ON THIS ISSUE: