Bridge contractor accused of dumping chemicals into Susquehanna River

Andrew Manganas of Canonsburg and his company, Panthera Painting, have also been charged with allegations of embezzlement and fraud.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Federal prosecutors in central Pennsylvania are accusing a contractor working on the Interstate 81 bridge over the Susquehanna River of dumping chemicals and other material into the water.

The charges announced Thursday against 59-year-old Andrew Manganas of Canonsburg and his company, Panthera Painting, also include allegations of embezzlement and fraud.

Authorities charge Manganas and the company embezzled about $400,000 from benefit and pension plans, submitted false payroll records and didn’t pay wages at federally mandated levels.

They say Manganas directed employees to pollute the river with paint blasting materials, waste paint and metal between 2011 and 2013.

Panthera won a $10 million contract in 2009 to blast, resurface and paint the bridge’s structural steel.

Court records don’t list a defense lawyer.

Messages left for Manganas and the company weren’t returned.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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