18Nov/150

United Airlines’ asbestos cover-up: OSHA Director commits perjury

Marty Watters, Investigative Reporter

OSHA Director Angeline Loftus

OSHA Director Angeline Loftus

 

The fact that United Airlines is claiming to have lost all records of its illegal removal and disposal of asbestos from its former World Headquarters in suburban Chicago should come as no surprise.

Did anyone really think United was going to confess to willfully exposing people to a known carcinogen? Of course not.

(United Airlines’ illegal abatement at former World Headquarters exposing employees to airborne asbestos fibers)

What did surprise me and what should trouble anyone who believes in honest government is this:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is accepting United's "lost records" defense even though I personally provided OSHA with copies of the very same records United claims are missing. Records that clearly would be considered inculpatory evidence in a criminal case against United.

Even more disturbing, OSHA area director Angeline Loftus has now signed a sworn declaration that was filed in Administrative Law Judge Dennis Phillips' court stating that these damning asbestos records do not exist. An assertion that Loftus knows is a complete falsehood.

Ooops! That's called perjury, Angie. That's a crime.

And so is covering up United's criminal behavior.

 

Here's an excerpt from Loftus' sworn declaration:

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Loftus refuses to acknowledge the existence of the so-called "missing records" because they prove that United was illegally removing asbestos from its former WHQ

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Loftus also knows that the so-called "missing records" reveal that United officials were committing accounting fraud in a quest to conceal the airlines' asbestos liabilities and related criminal behavior.

Over the course of ten months, A&E Services Inc. of Barrington, IL (Robert Nykaza) was paid over $1.1 million to illegally remove asbestos-containing insulation from United's former WHQ.

Here's how the scam worked:

A&E would submit differently worded invoices with the same invoice number for work performed. The more descriptive invoice, which deceptively referred to asbestos-containing material as "fiberglass insulation", would get buried in facilities manager Sylvia Empen's file.

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Meanwhile the less descriptive line item invoice would be submitted for payment in full on the personal company credit card of one of several United managers - in many cases before the work was even completed.

 

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Paying by credit card allowed United to circumvent internal controls, thus concealing its illegal asbestos abatement and forgoing all the nasty liabilities that go with it.

Ms. Loftus was made aware of all of this before signing the sworn declaration.

There is no question that United would have liked these records to just disappear.

Unfortunately for United, they did not.

The questions to ask now are:

Why is OSHA protecting United Airlines when it should be prosecuting it for endangering employees and the public?

And

Does OSHA area director Angie Loftus have a summer home in South Carolina like United's friend at the New Jersey Port Authority?

I called Ms. Loftus for comment. She did not deny that she had committed perjury. She did refer me to attorneys in the Secretary of Labors office. I am still waiting to hear back from them.

Much more to come.....

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