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Former New Jersey water official sentenced for rigging test results to hide contaminants

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TRENTON, New Jersey — A judge has sentenced a former top official at a northern New Jersey municipal water authority to three years in prison for conspiring to manipulate and falsify drinking water test results.

William Mowell was the former assistant executive director and engineer for the East Orange Water Commission.

Prosecutors say the 52-year-old Wyckoff resident conspired with the agency's former executive director to manipulate testing of the water supply and falsify results in order to report lower levels of a regulated contaminant in the drinking water supplied to customers.

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman says Mowell should have sounded the alarm instead of covering up the problem.

The former executive director died.

The state has done independent testing of the East Orange water system and found the water quality to be safe.

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