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Carlisle contractor pleads guilty for not taking proper lead paint precautions

A Carlisle contractor pleaded guilty this week for failing to take proper safety precautions to reduce lead paint exposure during a renovation project in Harrisburg.

U.S. Attorney David Freed said Thursday that Charles Bitner Jr., 45, the president and owner of Bitner Brothers Construction Co. Inc., pleaded guilty on behalf of his company for violating the Toxic Substances Control Act.

According to filings in the case, the firm was hired to replace 10 old windows in an apartment complex in the 2800 block of North Second Street in February 2017.

Investigators said workers used a grinder to cut into lead-painted walls to enlarge the openings for new windows. That work was done without setting up a shroud or containment system equipped with a vacuum to prevent lead dust from escaping.

Four children were home at the time of the renovations, according to the filing.

The plea deal does not specify a sentence, though Freed said the violation carries a penalty of up to five years of probation and a $200,000 fine for Bitner. Court records indicate there is a Sept. 18 sentencing.

Charles Bitner was not immediately available for comment.

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