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Former New Jersey water official admits to rigging samples to hide contaminants

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NEWARK, New Jersey — A former top official at a northern New Jersey municipal water authority has admitted to conspiring to manipulate and falsify drinking water test results.

New Jersey's attorney general says 52-year-old William Mowell of Wyckoff pleaded guilty Friday to a charge he conspired to engage in records tampering, unlawfully releasing toxic pollutants and multiple counts of official misconduct and violating state environmental laws.

Prosecutors say Mowell, the former assistant executive director and engineer for the East Orange Water Commission, conspired with the agency's former executive director to manipulate testing of the agency's water supply and falsify results in order to report lower levels of a regulated contaminant in the drinking water supplied to customers.

Prosecutors will recommend he serve three years in state prison at his Nov. 7 sentencing.

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