Ex-Long Island sewage treatment worker found not guilty in chlorine case

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A former Cedar Creek sewage treatment operator was found not guilty by a jury Friday of stealing 30 gallons of concentrated chlorine from the Seaford plant in 2012.

William Supple, 45, of Massapequa, was charged with two counts each of official misconduct and petty larceny after authorities said he stole sodium hypochlorite -- a concentrated bleach solution -- from a plant storage tank. The trial was in Nassau District Court before Judge William O'Brien.

Police said Supple put the containers in his car and planned to use them as part of his pool cleaning business.

But defense attorney James Pascarella of Mineola said Supple put the chlorine in his car only to move it from one side of the plant to another.

Pascarella said there was no evidence Supple took the chemicals off-site.

"The district attorney's office jumped the gun here," Pascarella said. "It was a shoddy investigation."

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for District Attorney Kathleen Rice, said, "We respect the jury's verdict."

Supple initially faced a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance after police found a bag of amphetamines in his locker.

But Pascarella said the drug possession charge was dropped after Supple proved he had a prescription for the pills.

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Supple, who had worked for the county since 1985, was fired in August 2012, shortly before his arrest. Supple has filed a grievance with the county against his termination and will now seek to get his job back, Pascarella said.

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