The former manager of the Sneedville Sewer Department waste water treatment plant was sentenced this week to
15 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan.
50 year old Kenneth Rhea has been in federal custody since late
November 2017. Rhea was charged in a separate case of attempted second degree
murder in a case involving his former live-in girlfriend.
He recently plead guilty to one count of making illegal discharges and
22 counts of making false statements involving the Clean Water Act for
falsifying monthly reports required by the state’s Department of Environment
and Conservation. Under Rhea’s direction, the waste water was released into the Clinch River illegally
as they dumped untreated sewage into the river over a 17-month period
beginning in December 2012.