CASPER, Wyo. — The high cost of disposing of asbestos in old trailers has put Natrona County’s cleanup effort for a long-litigated property east of Casper on hold, the county attorney said Thursday.
“At this time, we’re not going to proceed with the asbestos removal,” Bill Knight said.
That made the contractor hired to find the asbestos and haul it and other trash from Ed Corrigan’s property a happy man.
“It was a blessing to me,” Gene Robinson said Thursday. “I think that job would have turned into a nightmare, because I was probably going into a lawsuit over it.”
However, Knight said the voided trash-hauling contract doesn’t mean the county is abandoning its long-running efforts to clean up Ed Corrigan’s property at 3475 and 3485 Sunburst Drive.
Knight declined to say what the county may do, because he didn’t want to tip off Corrigan, he said.
Corrigan did not return calls seeking comment.
Corrigan has objected to the county’s property codes, code enforcement and judicial system for years, calling them illegitimate.
The county’s patience finally wore thin enough to warrant prosecuting him.
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In May, then-Natrona County District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl found Corrigan guilty of multiple health and safety code violations, issued an order for Corrigan to comply with the codes and levied a $143,840 fine. In October, after Corrigan had taken no steps to clean up the property or pay the fine, the judge found him in contempt, tacked on an additional $52,120 fine, gave him until Nov. 1 to comply, and allowed the county to enter his property to clean it up for him.
Corrigan didn’t meet the deadline and instead filed an unsuccessful appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
In November, the county awarded the $19,000 trash-removal contract to Robinson, which prompted a call from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality telling him to conduct a survey of asbestos on the property.
Knight estimated that the study would cost $1,000 and the subsequent asbestos removal could add another $10,000 to the contract.
Besides the DEQ, Robinson received calls from the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and papers from Corrigan himself who vowed to sue if he set foot on the problematic property, he said. “I’m not sure what the FBI wanted.”
All that persuaded Robinson and his attorney to meet with Knight, who told them the county didn’t want to spend any more money on the Corrigan property and voided the contract, Robinson said.
Robinson lost sleep over the potential fallout from what would otherwise have been a routine weeklong job, he said.
“You’re not in business to play legal games,” he said.
“If Corrigan would just clean it up, it would be over,” Robinson said. “I don’t understand it.”