The manager of McIntyre's Auto Repair in Brooklyn Park has pleaded guilty to illegally dumping solvents on its lot, while charges against the business have been dropped, the Maryland attorney general's office announced.
In exchange for the plea in Anne Arundel District Court on Thursday, Gary Lee Brown Sr., 38, was given probation before judgment by Judge Paul A. Hackner, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service "of an environmental cleanup nature," the attorney general's office said.
Brown, of the 2000 block of Park Drive in Pasadena, also was fined $5,000, but Hackner suspended all but $1,000 of the penalty.
State troopers assigned to the office's Environmental Crimes Unit launched an investigation of McIntyre's in June 1998 after neighbors complained of a strong solvent odor emanating from the business in the 4000 block of Ritchie Highway.
Brown and two other employees were charged with dumping several drums of solvents mixed with oil that had been accumulating there for several years. The other workers pleaded guilty in September, and were given probation and community service.
"Environmental crimes are just as threatening to the welfare of a neighborhood and its residents as any other crimes," Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said in a statement announcing Brown's plea, adding that the employees "had a total disregard for their neighbors and the environment."
Although charges against the business were dropped Thursday, the attorney general's office said McIntyre's was forced to spend more than $40,000 to clean up environmental damage caused by the dumping.