Ohio wastewater official nears plea change hearing

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former senior official at a northeast Ohio wastewater company who's been charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act is preparing to attend a change of plea hearing.

Ben Lupo's appearance before Judge Donald Nugent is scheduled Monday in federal court in Cleveland.

Such hearings are typically scheduled for defendants about to enter a guilty plea. His defense attorney has declined comment on the meeting.

Authorities allege that Lupo ordered an employee at Hardrock Excavating LLC to repeatedly dump gas-drilling wastewater intended for an injection well into a storm sewer. Lupo has pleaded not guilty.

The employee in the case, 34-year-old Michael Guesman (GOOS'-men), of Cortland, was sentenced last week to 300 hours of community service and three years of probation.

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