Article
February 24, 2015

Ex-Nonprofit Leaders Fined $1.8-Million in Calif. Asbestos Case

Three former executives with a defunct California job-training organization were ordered Monday to pay $1.8-million for lifetime health monitoring of dozens of people the nonprofit exposed to asbestos during a renovation project, writes The Fresno Bee. Federal prosecutors allege the officials with Firm Build used high school students to remove the cancer-causing substance from a building at a former military base in Atwater, Calif., in 2005-06 under the guise of giving them work experience.

Some adults took part in the removal, but many of the 65 workers were teenagers. Ex-Firm Build officials Joseph Cuellar, 74, of Fresno; Patrick Bowman, 48, of Los Banos, Calif.; and Rudy Buendia III, 52, of Planada, Calif., previously pleaded guilty to violating a federal law on hazardous air pollutants.