Texas Paint Company Owner Admits to Illegal Dumping in Randolph County

AUGUST 10, 2004 - Posted at 8:04 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The owner of a Texas paint company has pleaded guilty to illegally dumping about 650 tons of lead-based paint debris in northeast Arkansas.

Nick Muskie also pleaded guilty to bribing a state employee to keep quiet about the dumping.

He's set to be sentenced on November 19.

Muskie owns Kerville Painting Company of Kerrville, Texas.  Company supervisor Cecil Zimmerman pleaded guilty in the case on July 28 and a plea hearing is set tomorrow for former state employee Kevin Foster.

A federal prosecutor said Muskie's company signed a $1.3 million contract with the highway department to sandblast and paint six bridges in Randolph County.

The prosecutor said the company ilegally dumped the debris to save money.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)