BILLINGS – Up to eight employees at the Billings Regional Landfill could be fired or suspended after authorities say they took home large amounts of electronics, sporting goods, rifles and other items that were supposed to be disposed of after being damaged in a railroad derailment.
Criminal acts did not occur, but removing the items from the city-owned landfill violated city policies, police and the Yellowstone County attorney’s office told the Billings Gazette.
On July 17 a BNSF Railway freight train derailed near Glasgow, throwing 17 cars off the tracks and strewing general merchandise across the landscape. A week later, 11 dump trucks hauled unsalvageable items to the landfill.
“A lot of the material was very good stuff – electronics, cameras, sporting goods, clothing, bedding materials,” Public Works Director Dave Mumford said. “It’s not excusing them by any means, but on the other hand there was quite a temptation laying there in front of them.”