The former owner of a now-defunct Georgetown electronics recycling firm has been re-indicted on federal illegal-waste charges that prosecutors say more accurately reflect the alleged violations.
Kenneth Gravitt was named in an eight-count indictment handed up in U.S. District Court in Lexington on Oct. 12, court records show.
Gravitt formerly owned Global Environmental Services, a firm with a facility on Triport Road that recycled cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) from computer monitors and other waste from computers and electronic equipment.
GES was shut down and went into bankruptcy after its employees were discovered burying CRTs and other waste in a hastily dug pit behind the Georgetown facility in October 2015.
Gravitt had been indicted in February 2017 on charges of conspiring to illegally dispose of the waste. GES declared bankruptcy in early November 2015, about three weeks after the pit was reported to a Lexington television station by an employee of a neighboring business.
The govertnfment alleges that Gravitt and GES employees — none of whom are named as co-defendants — illegally stored CRTs and ground-up glass from monitors at facilities in Georgetown, Cynthiana and Winchester without proper permits.
But federal prosecutors dismissed those charges in late August, saying they planned to re-indict Gravitt on charges they said more accurately reflect the violations.
The new indictment largely recounts the original charges — violations of state federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), but changes the timeline of some of the alleged violations.
For instance, the original indictment claimed waste was stored illegally at the Cynthiana facility from April 2013 to late October 2013. The new indictment alleges that violation began in October 2014 through late October 2015.
The new indictment also changes the period that GES allegedly stored waste at its Winchester site. The original count alleged the violation began on April 1, 2015, and continued through late October 2015.
The new indictment alleges the violation in Winchester began in March 2015 and continued into October of that year.
CRTs contain lead, a toxic metal, that must be disposed of in specially permitted facilities. In at least one count, the indictment alleges Gravitt and GES employees transported hazardous waste to a Scott County landfill that does not have the appropriate permits.
Court documents in the case have identified the Central Kentucky Landfill on Double Culvert Road south of Sadieville as that facility.
Gravitt had launched GES in April 2008. It appeared to be a successful venture, winning a 2012 Kentucky Pacesetter Award as a small business that was an innovative company, as well as a state contract in 2014 to handle computer and electronic wastes for state agencies, public universities and public schools. The state revoked the contract shortly after the illegal dumping was discovered.
Court records show Gravitt is scheduled for arraignment on the new indictment on Nov. 14 in Lexington.
Dan Adkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.