News 5 Investigates

Mar 5, 2014 4:51 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates Update: Apartment complex owner agrees to pay $45,000 in safety violation fines

The owner of Kit Carson Apartments in El Paso County has agreed to pay nearly $45,000 in fines stemming from an OSHA investigation.

News 5 featured the complex during an investigation in October 2013 after tenants and a former maintenance worker blew the whistle about asbestos exposure and living conditions.

Ronald Helten, the property owner declined to answer any of our questions. He would only say this was a misunderstanding being stirred up by a few tenants and an ex-employee.

Helten told News 5 back in October that he would appeal the OSHA investigation, but never did.

Edward Thiel, a former maintenance man contacted OSHA and News 5 after falling desperately ill from what he believed was asbestos exposure.

In an official report, OSHA found that employees were not properly trained and were exposed to asbestos during repair work. Maintenance crews were also provided respirators without proper fit-testing or medical clearance.

Citing "unsafe working conditions," OSHA ordered Helten's company, Princeton Investments, Inc. to pay $44,880.

Helten will be making monthly installments over the next three years.

Below is a copy of the OSHA settlement agreement: 




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