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45 Sw. L.J. 1199 (1991-1992)
Perils of the Profession: Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine May Facilitate a Dramatic Increase in Criminal Prosecutions of Environmental Offenders

handle is hein.journals/smulr45 and id is 1211 raw text is: PERILS OF THE PROFESSION:
Steven M, Morgan, P.C. and Allison K. Obermann, Esq. *
ON July 16, 1991, U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer sentenced the
former owner of a waste disposal company in Garland, Texas to a
three-year prison term for dumping untreated industrial waste into
the Dallas sewer system. The former owner, Herman Goldfaden, also paid a
monetary penalty of $75,000, while his company received the maximum
$1,000,000 fine.' Asking for leniency, Goldfaden said I'm a good man.
I've been good to my employees... [being in jail will hurt.'2 The judge
nevertheless imposed a sentence that, though harsh, is consistent with a
growing trend in criminal environmental cases. Furthermore, recent court
cases have shown that while the managerial behavior in this instance was
highly culpable, many corporate executives may face criminal liability
purely on the basis of their position in the company.
Enforcement of criminal liability for environmental crimes is on the rise.
In response to congressional encouragement,3 as well as growing public pres-
sure, prosecutors are pursuing criminal indictments with increasing vigor.
1990 was a record year in terms of criminal indictments for environmental
crimes. The Department of Justice (DOJ) returned 134 indictments in 1990,
a 33% increase from 1989. Of those prosecuted, the greatest percentage
* Steven M. Morgan received his B.A. from Northwestern University and his Doctor of
Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is currently a Partner at Akin,
Gump, Hauer & Feld. Allison K. Obermann received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and
her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law. She is currently an
Associate at Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld. The authors gratefully acknowledge the significant
contributions made to this article by Joseph D. Batson.
1. Tracy Everbach, Man Gets 3-Year Term for Illegal Dumping, DALLAS MORNING
NEWS, July 17, 1991, at 21A.
2. Id. at 22A.
3. James S. Lynch, The Criminal Provisions of RCRA: Should Strict Liability be Applied
to its Permit Requirement, 5 ST. JOHN'S J. LEGAL COMMENT. 127, 129 (1989).


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