Fri., 10:32am: Guesman pleads not guilty
YOUNGSTOWN Michael Guesman of Cortland pleaded not guilty during his federal court arraignment this morning and is expected to be released on a $20,000 bond. He made no other comment.
Earlier, his employer, Ben Lupo also pleaded not guilty during his federal court arraignment this morning. While he made no other comment his attorney, Joseph Gardner of Youngstown, said, “There are always two sides to every story.”
The two face charges alleging they violated the Clean Water Act by repeatedly dumping gas-drilling wastewater into a storm sewer. Lupo, of Poland, is the owner of Hardrock Excavating LLC, whose business includes hauling brine.
Authorities allege that Lupo directed Guesman to dump thousands of gallons of drilling mud and brine into a sewer that empties into the Mahoning River watershed. Prosecutors say the men could face prison if they’re convicted, and the company could be fined.
The state revoked a permit for Hardrock after workers reported seeing the material being dumped.