Friday, December 17, 2010
The federal government charged Glenn Straub, and his company Palm Beach Polo Holdings, Inc., with filling in two wetlands within the jurisdiction of the United States in violation of the Clean Water Act, 33 USC 1319. The case involved two pieces of property in Wellington, Florida.
In fact, Straub engaged a contractor to remove Melaleuca trees and Brazilian Pepper trees from two of his properties. The State of Florida recognizes these plants as invasive noxious weeds which destroy wetlands. Straub obtained a vegetation removal permit from the Village of Wellington prior to starting the work, and hired a contractor who used a rotary cutter specially designed to avoid any impact on the soil.
The case was brought in the Southern District of Florida. The trial, in Ft. Lauderdale, lasted six days. Yesterday, after deliberating four hours, the jury found both defendants not guilty on all counts. Congratulations to Straub’s attorney, Stephen Binhak, of Miami, and Palm Beach Polo Holdings’ attorney, Craig Galle, of Wellington.