Man suspected of dumping trash on cemetery property could face charges

UNION GROVE — State officials say a former cemetery employee disrespected Wisconsin veterans by using cemetery property as a personal landfill.

The suspect was a maintenance worker at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove.  Reports obtained by FOX6 News say he admits to dumping at least ten truck loads of waste, much of it from his own home.  The suspect has since resigned from his job at the cemetery.

The alleged dumping site is about two football fields away from the nearest headstone, near a maintenance shed.  New released documents from the Department of Natural Resources show they’ve unearthed a list of cemetery and personal waste, including TV sets, paint cans, pesticide cans, carpeting and furniture.

An investigation at the cemetery began in November of 2010.  By August of 2011, removal of the waste was underway.  Now, charges are being referred to the Wisconsin Department of Justice for ‘establishing a solid waste disposal facility without a license.  Documents say the suspect admitted to dumping the waste over a period of three years. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs released this statement from Secretary John Scocos: “This individual desecrated hallowed ground.  We fully support bringing charges against him.  Veterans and their families deserve to know that this person has paid the price for the deep disrespect he showed to our nation’s heroes.”

James Carrington has been coming to the cemetery for nine years to remember his wife.

“He did something wrong.  I don’t think he should serve jail time, but he should get something, a fine, if nothing else,” said Carrington.

FOX6 News is not naming the suspect because he hasn’t been charged. If he is charged and found guilty, he could be fined up to $5,000 for each day of his violation. The cost of cleaning up the waste was more than $42,000.

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