Amy Cornell, Public Information Officer
Nahal Iravani-Sani, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2780 For release on March 10, 2010 SANTA CLARA BUSINESS OWNER CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR UNLAWFUL DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTE Ernest Najar, the President of Express Tech, Inc., a Santa Clara Company, pleaded no contest to felony violations of Health and Safety Code Section 25189.5(a) and Penal Code Section 115, arising out of unlawful disposal of hazardous waste and false filing of documents in connection with those disposals. The complaint filed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office alleges that for several years, Express Tech, Inc. discharged excess amounts of heavy metals into the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant, the wastewater treatment facility which prevents impurities from local businesses from reaching the bay. The complaint also alleges that during the same time period that Express Tech, Inc. was disposing hazardous waste, Najar was filing false documents certifying that his company was a “Zero Discharger,” thereby avoiding additional mandated permits and fees.
Najar will be placed on three years probation, serve one year in the county jail (electronic monitoring), and pay fines in excess of $36,500.00. Several Express Tech, Inc. employees, including Najar’s sons Adam Najar, Timothy Najar, and employee Juan Gutierrez, also pleaded no contest to felony and misdemeanor violations of environmental laws. As part of the resolution of this case, Express Tech, Inc. also accepted liability in a companion civil lawsuit filed by the District Attorney’s Office for unlawful business practices. Pursuant to the negotiated settlement, Express Tech, Inc. will pay civil penalties and investigative costs in the amount of $113,500.00 to the Water Pollution Control Plant and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. In sum, the criminal and civil dispositions against Express Tech, Inc. and President Ernest Najar amount to monetary judgments of over $150,000.
District Attorney Dolores Carr said, “We will continue to protect the health and safety of Santa Clara County residents and the San Francisco Bay by prosecuting polluters and seeking appropriate penalties.”
The City of San Jose Environmental Services Department investigated this case, which was prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office Environmental Protection Unit. ###