Because apartment tenants at the Overlook at Mile High complex in Denver were exposed to asbestos dust during a 2014 remodeling project, the manager, John Tom Williams, has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison and a $100,000 fine.
Williams’s company, WillMax Capital Management, Inc., was also sentenced to five years of probation on a felony charge.
Williams is charged with knowingly violating a federal rule that requires owners to inspect for the presence of asbestos prior to renovating a facility and with negligently releasing asbestos into the air.
At Overlook, a subcontractor began work sanding the hallways, which had once been carpeted. When a resident, concerned about the dust caused by the work, contacted Denver officials, it was discovered that the carpet glue contained asbestos. Residents of 94 apartment units were then evacuated and moved into hotels.
Many of the residents were college students who had found the proximity to light rail transportation to campus attractive. Students reported they had only hours to remove non-tainted personal items before the building was sealed off to residents.
Williams acknowledged that his “mistake” endangered the lives of more than 100 people.