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Former Dolton water official gets 3 months for falsifying data

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A former Dolton certified water operator was sentenced to three months in prison on charges that he falsified paperwork to make it seem like the south suburb was properly sampling its drinking water.

Philip Kraus, 63, of Thornton, was sentenced to three months in prison, followed by one year of supervised released and a $5,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He was charged in June 2015 with five counts of submitting a false statement to the Illinois EPA and one count of engaging in a multi-year scheme to submit false statements, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“Mr. Kraus violated the residents of Dolton, and, although we have no evidence that Mr. Kraus’ conduct caused any actual harm, it did create a very real risk of contamination going undiscovered,” U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said in the statement.

Each month, Dolton — which buys its water from Chicago — was required to collect between 25 and 30 samples of its drinking water from various points representative of the entire water system to be sure contamination did not occur after delivery, prosecutors said. The samples were to be tested for the presence of coliform bacteria.

However, Kraus routinely collected multiple drinking water samples from only one or a few locations, then falsely stated on paperwork that the samples were taken from several locations throughout Dolton, prosecutors allege.

The laboratory then sent the test results and false sample site data to the IEPA, prosecutors said. The lab is not accused of any wrongdoing.

All test results from the samples were negative for coliform bacteria, according to the indictment.

Kraus is required to report to prison by June 6.