DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that his office has obtained an indictment against four Coloradans and two businesses, New Vision Hotels and NVH Construction, on suspicion that they failed to properly abate and dispose of asbestos at a Frisco hotel. Because of their alleged actions, two dozen individuals who worked at and stayed at the hotel were exposed to asbestos.
According to the three-count indictment, Adam Pietraszek (DOB: 12/24/1961), Nikolai Semenshin (DOB: 1/27/1972), Yarek Gora (DOB: 4/11/1966) and Richard Para (DOB: 1/2/1964) are suspected of failing to obtain a permit in October 2009 for asbestos abatement related to renovations they were performing at the Holiday Inn located at 1129 North Summit Boulevard in Frisco. Once the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment learned of the renovations, which resulted in asbestos contaminating rooms at the hotel, they prohibited the owner of the hotel, Pietraszek, from renting out the affected rooms.
Despite the prohibition, Pietraszek, the owner of the hotel, is suspected of ordering the housekeeping staff to clean the affected rooms. According to the indictment, in addition to exposing the housekeeping staff to the asbestos contamination Pietraszek also continued to rent out the rooms to unsuspecting guests.
According to the indictment, the defendants are suspected of causing or contributing to a hazardous substance incident, a class-four felony; violating the Air Quality Control Act, an unclassified felony; and violating the Air Quality Control Act, an unclassified misdemeanor. If convicted of causing or contributing to a hazardous substance incident, the defendants could face up to six years in prison or a $500,000 fine.
“Exposure to asbestos can cause serious — even fatal — respiratory diseases, so it must be handled safely and legally to protect the public,” said Lori Hanson, special agent-in-charge of the Denver office of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Enforcement Division. “EPA takes allegations of asbestos-related violations very seriously and we will continue to work with the state on this prosecution.”
The Office of the Attorney General investigated the case and secured the indictment with the assistance of the Colorado Environmental Crime Task Force, the Air Quality Unit of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Prosecutors for the Office of the Attorney General will present the state’s case against the defendants in Summit County District Court.