Attorney General announces guilty verdict for Pueblo man whose demolition project released asbestos

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that a Pueblo County jury has convicted Thomas K. Tienda of eight felonies related to the release of asbestos that occurred when he hired unlicensed individuals to demolish an asbestos-contaminated Pueblo home between May 2007 and July 2007.

Tienda had hired homeless individuals and handymen instead of properly licensed contractors to save money. Their demolition work, which also lacked the proper permit from the City of Pueblo, resulted in the release of asbestos into the air. Tienda also was suspected of reusing some of the asbestos-contaminated materials from the demolition. Tienda also lied to state and locals health inspectors about how and where he disposed of the asbestos-containing materials.

The Office of the Attorney General prosecuted the case in cooperation with the Pueblo District Attorney’s Office. The Office of the Attorney General investigated the case and filed charges 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.

Tienda is scheduled to be sentence Nov. 28, 2011 at 3:15pm in Division D of the Pueblo District Courthouse.

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