Town Employee Placed on Administrative Leave Following Arrest in Fairfield Related to Contaminated Soil Disposal

A Town of Greenwich employee, Emmet Hibson, a Collective Bargaining Specialist representing the First Selectman as the town’s chief negotiator, has been placed on administrative leave pending adjudication of charges against him that Camillo said the Town learned about on Nov 19.

Emmet Hibson. Photo: Fairfield Police

Hibson, previously the HR director for the town of Fairfield, CT, was terminated last January by First Selectman Brenda Kupchick.

Following a criminal investigation, Hibson was one of one of several Fairfield officials arrested and charged on Nov 19 in connection to the illegal dumping of hazardous material on a public works site.

Hibson, of New Haven, along with Conservation Director Brian Carey, Robert Grabarek of Osprey Environmental Engineering (an environmental consulting company), and former Dept of Public Works Superintendent Scott Bartlett, were all charged in connection to an alleged scheme to allow illegal disposal of PCBs.

Also arrested last week was Joseph Michelangelo, a former Fairfield DPW director. He was charged with Illegal Disposal of PCB’s and Conspiracy to Commit Illegal Disposal of PCB’s.  

According to Fairfield Police, in July of 2019, the town officials were arrested following an investigation that began in 2017 into Julian Development, who operated a Construction Material Processing Facility on Fairfield Dept of Public Works property.

Fairfield Police say the investigation revealed that Julian Development had dumped and allowed dumping of a tremendous volume of material on the DPW site, some of which was found to contain PCB’s, Lead, and other contaminants. The material required remediation to a licensed hazardous waste facility at a cost of approximately $280,000 to the town.  Julian Development was removed from the site and was subsequently also charged, as was Scott Bartlett the then, Superintendent of Public Works.  Those charges are currently pending in court.

The men charged on Nov 19 are all due in State Superior Court on Dec 4.

The cases are being prosecuted by the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney Environmental Crimes Unit.

Hibson was hired by Greenwich on April 27, 2020.

His LinkedIn profile does not mention his position in Greenwich, but does list his experience as Director of HR for Fairfield July 2016 to Jan 2020. Prior to that he lists HR positions with the cities of New Haven, Stamford and Norwalk.

On Tuesday First Selectman Fred Camillo said he had placed Mr. Hibson on administrative leave.

“While these allegations do not reflect the values of our Town and our employees, we will allow the judicial system to take its course and based upon that outcome, determine if additional action is warranted,” Camillo added.

Camillo went on to say, “We have conducted a thorough review of Mr. Hibson’s hiring and have confirmed that the Town of Greenwich conducted the hiring and interviewing process in the normal course.”

He said the town’s Human Resources Department followed the same rigorous and thorough protocols that have been universally applied to all prospective candidates seeking employment with the Town.

“Beyond that, it has been the Town’s long-standing practice not to discuss ongoing personnel issues,” he continued. “As additional relevant information is made available to the Town, we will then determine next steps and appropriate action.”