Jail Time for Course Instructor

The training manager and course instructor of a company that provided industrial hygiene and safety services is facing prison time and a hefty fine for falsely certifying the completion of a lead abatement course.

Stephen Craig was the training manager and a primary instructor for those courses, and his son, Matthew Craig, provided hands-on instruction and assisted with course administration, including the grading of examinations.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Craig owned Boston Lead Company LLC (BLC), a Connecticut corporation that provided industrial hygiene and safety services.  Doing business as Environmental Training and Assessment (ETA), BLC offered a variety of training courses to individuals working with lead paint and asbestos.

To obtain certification, an individual must successfully complete an approved 32-hour lead abatement worker initial training course.  ETA applied for and received approval from CT DPH to offer a wide range of lead and asbestos training courses, including lead abatement worker initial and refresher courses.

In August 2011, ETA offered a lead abatement training course at its Middletown facility. An undercover EPA agent attended the course under a fictitious identity, seeking a lead abatement worker initial course completion certificate.  The agent skipped the first two days of the course and was two hours late on the third day.

Thereafter, the agent attended the course for approximately 15 hours, including approximately three hours of hands-on training.  The court held that Craig was aware that agent did not attend the full training course.

At the conclusion of the course, the agent paid $525 in cash and was allowed to sit for the lead abatement worker examination, which was proctored and graded by Matthew Craig.  The agent intentionally failed the examination.

Although Matthew Craig knew that the agent had failed the examination, he completed questions that the agent had left blank and corrected a sufficient number of incorrectly answered questions to bring the examination grade to a passing grade of 80 percent.

ETA then issued a false Certificate of Completion to the agent for successfully completing a 32-hour lead abatement worker initial training course and passed an examination in accordance with CT DPH standards.

Craig was sentenced to six months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for falsely certifying the completion of a lead abatement course.  He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.