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Greene County man charged with falsifying mine inspection reports and forging state mine foreman's certificate

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    Greene County man charged with falsifying mine inspection reports and forging state mine foreman s certificate Media Newswire (press release) July 1, 2011
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      Greene County man charged with falsifying mine inspection reports and forging state mine foreman's certificate

      Greene County man charged with falsifying mine inspection reports and forging state mine foreman's certificate

      Media Newswire (press release)

      July 1, 2011

      HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Section have arrested a Greene County man accused of falsifying safety inspection reports at a coal mine in southwestern Pennsylvania and fabricating a bogus bituminous coal state mine foreman's certificate.

      Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as Donald E. Forman, 55, of 189 Mudlick Road, Wind Ridge.

      Kelly said the criminal investigation by the Attorney General's Office was based on a referral from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ( DEP ) following allegations by miners that safety inspection reports were being falsified at the Bailey Mine Expansion ( BMX Mine ), located in Richhill Township, Greene County.

      According to the criminal complaint, Forman is accused of improperly marking sections of the mine to indicate that they had been inspected within a required time period - fabricating information that miners rely on for safe operation of the mine. A review of records revealed that Forman allegedly falsified inspection reports approximately 178 times between May 2010 and August 2010, potentially jeopardizing the lives and safety of all the miners who entered the mine during those periods.

      Additionally, Forman is accused of falsely claiming to be certified as a bituminous coal mine foreman, using a forged state certificate to support that assertion.

      Kelly noted that DEP regulations require proper state certification for mine foreman, who oversee the inside workings of a mine and individuals who enter a mine.

      Foreman is charged with two counts of tampering with public records, both third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

      He is also charged with one count of recklessly endangering another person and two counts of unsworn falsifications to authorities, all second-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to two years in prison and $5,000 fines.

      Additionally, Forman is charged with one count of unlawful conduct under Pennsylvania's Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act, an ungraded misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in prison and a $200 fine.

      The charges were filed today before Waynesburg Magisterial District Judge Louis M. Dayich.

      Forman was preliminarily arraigned today and released on $10,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 7th.

      The case will be prosecuted in Greene County Court of Common Pleas by Deputy Attorney General Amy J. Carnicella of the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Section.

      _________________________

      U. S. Mine Rescue Association

      http://www.usmra.com

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