Richmond Contractor Charged for Improperly Renovating Multiple Lead-Contaminated Homes

Federal prosecutors said Jeffrey Delucio knowingly violated federal rules on renovating homes with lead and falsified documents to say he complied.
August 18, 2021

A Richmond contractor was charged with violating federal lead renovation, repair and painting rules while part of a program to demolish and repair blighted homes.

A federal grand jury indicted Jeffrey Delucio, 52, with two counts of violating the Toxic Substances Control Act and one count of falsifying documents during a federal investigation.

Delucio was co-operator of Aluminum Brothers Home Improvements LLC, a now-dissolved company owned by his son, Dillan Delucio.

The company bid and won contracts to rehabilitate various lead-contaminated homes in Richmond as part of the city’s participation in the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Blight Elimination Program.

Between September 2016 and September 2017, Aluminum Brothers was awarded more than $165,000 in contracts by the Richmond Board of Public Works and Safety to rehabilitate buildings in the city’s Old Richmond Historic District.

According to the federal indictment, Delucio failed to train his employees how to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards associated with renovation, repair and painting projects as required by the Toxic Substances Control Act through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 N Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule and later falsified documents to cover up the lack of training.

Under the rule, contractors who perform repairs and other maintenance activities that disturb painted surfaces in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 have certain responsibilities they must undertake in order to lawfully work in homes with potential lead contamination or exposure.

The company must become EPA certified through the completion of an eight-hour initial renovator training course, and it must abide by several work practice standards.

The certification lasts for five years. The company showed up on the EPA’s list of certified renovators until its certification expired Aug. 15, 2021.

Delucio was also responsible for providing on-the-job training to other workers who did not have certified renovator training and for preparing records about the training.

Federal prosecutors said Delucio intentionally violated the EPA rule on training employees and work practice standards at two sites his company was contracted to rehabilitate, 305 S. 10th St. and 128 S. 15th St.

The violations led to contamination of the properties through lead paint chips and lead dust exposure.

A federal grand jury issued Delucio’s company a subpoena for records related to worker training. According to the indictment, Delucio created documents and back-dated them to appear as if his workers were trained before they began working on the properties.

Delucio faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for violations of the EPA rule and up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for falsifying documents in a federal investigation.

The alleged violations happened despite the city of Richmond hiring a Cambridge City firm, Star Development Inc., to oversee projects funded by IDHCA grants. Star Development Inc. was paid $100 per hour to oversee the rehabilitation projects and $1,000 per home for lead testing.

Richmond’s Board of Public Works and Safety eventually terminated at least one contract with Aluminum Brothers Home Improvement on Sept. 28, 2017.

A South Bend construction company was hired to redo the home at 305 S. 10th St. at the cost of $60,924.

Star Development Inc. was administratively dissolved July 5, 2019.

Aluminum Brothers Home Improvement was administratively dissolved March 5, 2021.

Delucio is set to make an initial appearance in federal court Sept. 1.

Richmond Contractor Charged for Improperly Renovating Multiple Lead-Contaminated Homes