Restaurateur fined for dumping fuel oil

October 07, 2005|By ANDREA F. SIEGEL

An Annapolis restaurateur was fined and ordered to perform community service and repay the state for cleanup costs for dumping fuel oil from a tank behind his business that wound its way into College Creek.

Paolo Francesco Assante, 57, of Annapolis entered yesterday an Alford plea to discharging oil. In the plea before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth, he acknowledged that there was evidence to convict him, but he did not admit guilt.

According to the plea agreement, Assante received a suspended one-year jail sentence, was placed on two years' probation, was fined $1,000, and was ordered to pay the state nearly $6,600 and perform 75 hours of community service, the state attorney general's office said.

Officials said that on Aug. 16, 2004, Assante dumped more than 100 gallons of oil from Bella Italia, his restaurant in the 600 block of Taylor Ave., into a storm drain. The drain leads to College Creek. Calls from nearby residents alerted authorities.

Assante told the judge that "it was an accident" and that he planned to return to Italy because his wife is there and is ill.

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