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Local News in Brief : Records Seized in Asbestos Case

Armed with search warrants, criminal investigators seized records this week from a large real estate developer and two other firms connected with an Atwater site where hazardous asbestos was improperly ripped out late last year and exposed to the elements.

In court papers filed Thursday that disclosed the search, an investigator for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it appeared that Schurgin Development Co., owner of the old Franciscan Ceramics factory site at 2901 Los Feliz Blvd., and other companies violated rules meant to keep cancer-causing asbestos from becoming airborne during demolition and disposal operations.

The court papers also disclosed that the investigation has spread to Barstow, where one of the companies hauled truckloads of salvaged kiln brick that allegedly was mixed with asbestos debris.

Also named in the search warrant were Schurgin’s demolition contractor, J. D. Edwards Co., and Schurgin’s asbestos consultant, M. R. Chasse Co. The district referred the citations to the district attorney for possible criminal prosecution.

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