- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2020

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a Lawrence developer to serve three months in prison for illegal disposal of asbestos during a construction project.

Thomas S. Fritzel, 54, was also ordered to pay a $55,000 fine for violations of the Clean Air Act during remodeling work in 2016 at the former Alvamar Country Club, now known as the Jayhawk Club, the Lawrence Journal-world reported.

The penalty imposed by U.S. District Judge Holly Teeter comes after jurors found Fritzel guilty in July of three counts related to disposal of asbestos, a hazardous material linked cancer. Fritzel was convicted of knowingly failing to notify environmental agencies before removing the asbestos, failing to wet the asbestos before removing it and failing to dispose of it in leak-tight containers.

The judge said she based the sentence in part to a toxicologist’s analysis that showed his conduct created a “nearly infinitesimal risk of exposure.” Teeter also said that - based on Fritzel’s expressed remorse - she did not believe he would repeat the offense.

Fritzel also faces sentencing in May in a separate fraud case related to a scheme to collect more than $400,000 in fraudulent tax refunds from the city of Lawrence.

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