Western Pa. Polluter's Sentence Sparks Dispute
29 June 2012
By Torsten Ove
The lawyer representing a Greene County businessman sentenced to
probation for polluting waterways in six counties with illegally
dumped wastewater has accused the state attorney general's office
of trying to "bully" the sentencing judge into imposing a harsher
Greene County Common Pleas Judge Farley Toothman this month
sentenced Robert Allan Shipman, owner of Allan's Waste Water
Service, to seven years of probation and 1,750 hours of community
service, in addition to $257,316 in restitution, a $100,000 fine
and a $25,000 charitable contribution to be paid to the attorney
The state prosecutor's office was angered by the probation
sentence and said in a motion for reconsideration this week that
Mr. Shipman should go to jail to send a message to others who
would deliberately pollute the state.
Mr. Shipman's lawyer, Christopher Blackwell, countered Wednesday
that the sentence was carefully crafted after an all-day
sentencing hearing and that Deputy Attorney General Amy
Carnicella, who wrote the state's motion, is trying to force the
judge into a re-sentencing.
"The entire tone of the [motion] is designed to embarrass,
belittle, and intimidate a judge who produced a thoughtful,
well-reasoned opinion that brings honor to the bench," wrote Mr.
"Such conduct should not only be quashed immediately, but should
be chastised and admonished" for its failure to follow the rules
of professional conduct, he said.
Mr. Blackwell said Ms. Carnicella's motion insulted the judge by
suggesting that he did not fully grasp the magnitude of Mr.
Shipman's environmental crimes.
She had quoted Judge Toothman as saying the case could be a
"clarion call" for cleaning the state's waterways.
But the probationary sentence, she said, falls short of a clarion
call and will not serve as a deterrent to polluters.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office said Mr. Blackwell's
filing "unfairly attacked the professionalism" of Ms. Carnicella.
Torsten Ove: email@example.com or 412-263-1510.