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After being found guilty Monday of lying repeatedly to state regulators as . of Crestwood’s water department, Theresa Neubauer said she was at the “bottom of the food chain” when it came to a long-running scheme to use polluted well water in the village’s drinking supply
Neubauer told reporters that former longtime Mayor Chester Stranczek and another village official were responsible for using the tainted water to supplement the Lake Michigan water the village obtained from Chicago.
Neither Stranczek nor the other official were charged by federal prosecutors for their alleged roles in the scandal, in which the well water that contained vinyl chloride, a cancer-causing chemical, was used for about 22 years until 2007.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency determined in 1986 that the well was contaminated and ordered Crestwood to stop using it, but top village officials ignored the order and plotted for years to hide the continued use of the well, according to trial testimony.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has said the use of the well could have been a factor in elevated levels of cancer among Crestwood residents, but the agency couldn’t conclusively tie that to the water.