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Gas Station Manager Pleads Guilty in Fuel Spill

(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 7, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Hosef Bajakajian of Tarzana, Calif. pleaded guilty to illegal discharge into waters following a gasoline spill at his Winslow facility, Super American Gas Station, in July 2004. The plea agreement requires Bajakajian to pay restitution of more than $16,000.

He admitted to directing the fuel into a storm drain that led to the City of Winslow’s waste water treatment plant. The discharge caused damage to the plant, and to avoid shutting down the facility, off-duty city workers were called in to divert the fuel into holding tanks for treatment. The city’s action prevented most of the fuel from reaching the Little Colorado River.

Bajakajian pleaded guilty before Navajo County Superior Court Judge John N. Lamb. He was ordered to pay restitution of $5,380 to the City of Winslow and $10,697 to Red J Environmental Corp., a private firm that also worked on the cleanup.

Assistant Attorney General Christina Fitzpatrick prosecuted this case.