Crestwood Police Chief Pleads Innocent in Water Scandal

Former water department supervisor denies water-testing violations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    First came the angry call from residents, and now a full-blown investigation is underway in one southwest suburb. (Published Tuesday, Jul 28, 2009)

    Crestwood's police chief pleaded innocent Wednesday to 22 federal charges alleging she lied to state and federal regulators about where her town's water came from.

    Following her plea, Judge Joan B. Gottschall told Theresa Neubauer, 53, to surrender her weapons and gun permit, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Neubauer, Crestwood's ex-water department clerk and supervisor, and Frank Scaccia, a retired certified water operator, are accused of repeatedly lying to environmental regulators about using a water well's potentially contaminated water to supplement the village's supply.

    U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement last week the indictment doesn't allege say the scandal resulted in harm to residents. Rather the officials are accused of violating water-testing regulations, he said, which is a safety hazard.

    According to the indictment, Crestwood supplemented its Lake Michigan drinking water with that from an underground aquifer via a well on Playfield Drive. The water was distributed through the community water system to residential, industrial and commercial areas.

    The police chief was released released on a personal recognizance bond and may await trial from her Crestwood home. She is on administrative leave from the police department.

    Scaccia, 59, was fired in March, 2010 and is currently waiting for his arraignment date to be scheduled.