Atlantic Coast Utilities and two people affiliated with the company have been indicted on perjury charges in connection with an accident earlier this year where two of their employees died when they were struck by a dump truck and pushed into a 9-foot-deep trench at a sewer project in Boston.
Atlantic Coast Utilities was indicted on four counts of perjury last week, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced Tuesday. Laurence Moloney, 57, of Quincy, the company's owner, was also indicted on three counts of perjury and Konstantinos Kollias, 35, of Newton, an employee of the company, was indicted on one count of perjury.
Prosecutors allege that the company lied on affidavits of workplace safety submitted to the City of Boston. Those affidavits were on file when Atlantic Coast Utilities secured permits to conduct work on High Street in Boston's Financial District, where two of its employees -- Jordy Alexander Castaneda Romero, 27, and Juan Carlos Figueroa Gutierrez, 33 -- were killed when they were struck by a company vehicle on Feb. 24, 2021.
The company allegedly stated in the affidavits that the company had no prior Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations when in fact they had been cited by the agency in both 2016 and 2019.
Moloney and Kollias are scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior Court. Prosecutors said additional information about the case will be released at that time.
OSHA had cited Moloney and two associated companies in August for what it called "a long history of ignoring the safety and health of its employees." The driver of the dump truck was not held criminally liable for the men's deaths, Rollins said.
OSHA in a statement said the violations included "the company's refusal to train Romero, Gutierrez and other workers to recognize and avoid work-related hazards."
Atlantic Coast Utilities "failed to conduct worksite inspections to identify and correct hazards, including the risks of being struck by construction vehicles and other traffic, crushed or engulfed in an unguarded trench, and being overcome by oxygen-deficient or toxic atmospheres in the trench and an adjacent manhole," OSHA said.
Atlantic Coast Utilities said in a statement earlier this year that it was "devastated" by the deaths and continues to grieve.