Tribal Official Not Guilty in Contaminated Water Case
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A jury has found the former head of the Chippewa Cree Tribe's water department not guilty of federal charges that he lied to authorities about contamination to a drinking water tank.
Jonathan Jay Eagleman was charged with three counts of making false statements to a federal agency.
Prosecutors said his department did not notify the Environmental Protection Agency about contamination to a drinking water tank used by 35 homes on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.
Tribal workers found that the tank had been broken into on Aug. 30, 2012. Wooden boards, concrete and animal feces were thrown into it.
A 12-member jury rejected accusations that Eagleman lied by telling the EPA the break-in was discovered weeks later.
He could have faced five years prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.