Former Santa Clara Waste Water Company Vice President of Oil and Gas Sales Sentenced

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Dean Michael Poe (DOB 04/28/65), of Ventura, was sentenced to serve 120 days in jail and placed on formal probation for three years for his role in causing a 2014 explosion at Santa Clara Waste Water Company (“SCWWC”). This case was jointly prosecuted by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General’s Office. On March 24, 2017, Poe pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to dispose of hazardous waste.

Poe was the former vice president of Oil and Gas Sales for SCWWC. On November 18, 2014, an explosion occurred at the SCWWC facility located at 815 Mission Rock Road in Santa Paula. Numerous employees as well as first responders were injured either by the initial explosion or by inhaling a toxic cloud of chlorine gas generated by the illegal disposal of hazardous chemicals that were present on site. In June 2014, Poe provided samples from SCWWC to a local environmental laboratory for testing. In July 2014, Poe was told by lab personnel that testing results for samples he provided for chemical analysis indicated the substances were hazardous waste. Poe failed to take any corrective action at SCWWC when he learned of these hazardous waste results and did not report this information to regulatory authorities.

In addition to the jail sentence, Poe was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, and victim restitution in an amount to be determined by the Court. Under the terms of his probation, Poe is prohibited from any employment involving the collection of laboratory samples to be used for waste testing.

 

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.

Follow the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Twitter @VenturaDAOffice


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