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For Immediate Release
December 20, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

NEW JERSEY COMPANY AND ITS VICE PRESIDENT
FIRST SENTENCED FOR RADIATION VIOLATIONS IN MD

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Joseph Ferenc, 45, of Forked River, New Jersey, and United Evaluations, Inc., a New Jersey corporation (formerly known as Accurate Technologies, Inc.), have been convicted and sentenced for violations of radiation regulations in Maryland. Ferenc is the Vice-President of United Evaluation Services, Inc. The company performs industrial radiography. This is the first criminal prosecution for radiation violations in the State of Maryland.

Ferenc and the corporation were charged with numerous violations stemming from a September 2001 incident in which an employee of the company received serious radiation burns, due in part to his failure to follow required safety precautions while conducting industrial radiography at the McShane facility at 905 Pittman Road in Anne Arundel County. Subsequent investigation by the Maryland Department of the Environment's Radiological Health Program revealed that the company was significantly out of compliance with its Maryland license.

While charges were initially filed in both Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, the cases were consolidated and heard by The Honorable Evelyn O. Cannon of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

Ferenc pleaded guilty to one count of failing to timely report an event involving the loss of control of a licensed source of radiation. Ferenc also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the specific terms of the Maryland license, which required that a specific individual supervise the company's radiation program. That individual had stopped working for the company in early 2001. Ferenc received a one-year sentence, which was suspended in favor of five years' probation. He was ordered to pay $10,000 to the State Radiation Control Fund, with $5,000 paid and the remaining $5,000 fine was suspended. In addition, Ferenc may not conduct licensed activities involving radioactive materials in the State of Maryland during the five-year probationary period.

The corporation pleaded guilty to one count of failing to control the occupational dose of radiation to an individual adult. According to a statement of facts, a dosimetry report for the injured radiographer indicated a Total Effective Dose Equivalent (TEDE) that exceeded the annual limit in September 2001, prior to the overexposure at the McShane facility in September 2001. Therefore, the employee should not have been conducting radiography at the time of his injury.

In addition, the corporation pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an office in Maryland, as required by its Maryland license. The company vacated its Maryland facility in April 2001, failed to notify State officials, yet continued to conduct radiographic activities at various locations in Maryland including the McShane facility.

Judge Cannon imposed an additional fine of $10,000 on the company, to go to the State Radiation Control Fund. In addition, the corporation will serve five years' probation, during which time it may not conduct licensed activities involving radioactive materials in the State of Maryland.

This case was investigated by the Office of the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit, with the assistance of the Radiological Health Program of the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland State Police.

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