Construction Company Owner and Employee Charged Related to Deaths

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Robison Wells
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Boston courts failed to charge the Atlantic Coast Utilities construction company with the late February deaths of two contractors. However, the business owner and an employee did catch four counts of perjury charges related to the deaths.

Jordy Alexander Castaneda Romero and Juan Carlos Figueroa Gutierrez died while working for a private landlord on February 24; a dump truck hit both men and threw them into a 9-foot trench. In addition, Atlantic Coast Utilities, its owner, Laurence M. Moloney, and employee, Konstantinos Kollias, received four counts of perjury for providing city regulators with falsified safety records on four different occasions beginning in October 2019.

The company faces $1.3 million in penalties for “willful, repeat, and serious” workplace safety violations.

Leslie Villalobos, Jordy Romero’s sister, says that she hopes this prosecution will serve as a wake-up call. “I am glad this will no longer happen to another family under his wing,” she told the Boston Globe. “My brother, Jordy, and Carlos are human and [deserve] justice for what has happened to them.”

An attorney for Moloney said in a statement that “the February 2021 tragedy was just that—a tragic accident. We are confident that Mr. Moloney will be cleared regarding the separate administrative misunderstanding.”

The perjury counts refer to what is known as a “Mattocks-Higgins Affidavit of Workplace Safety;” this requires contractors to disclose any safety citations from OSHA before receiving a Boston work permit. The four false affidavits happened in March, August, October, and December 2019.

In a statement, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said, “the negligence of Atlantic Coast Utilities and its owners contributed to the death of two workers in a preventable, tragic accident on our city’s streets. These individuals cannot and will not escape responsibility through perjury and lies. I support District Attorney Rollins’ prosecution and commit to leading a city that protects all of Boston’s workers.”

City Councilor Andrea Campbell said the city must confirm that contractors are filing truthful affidavits. “It’s a matter of life and death,” she said.

Although not charged with manslaughter, the business owner of Atlantic Coast Utilities and one of its employees face four counts of perjury as part of an open case to resolve the wrongful deaths of two contractors.

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