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BOSTON �— A Massachusetts Superior Court judge denied the motion to dismiss a manslaughter indictment in the Big Dig-related case against epoxy distributor Powers Fasteners. Prosecutors blamed the Brewster, N.Y.-based company for the use of an unsuitable type of epoxy in Boston’s Central Artery, or Big Dig project. Officials have said inadequate epoxy caused the July 2006 tunnel ceiling collapse that killed 38-year-old Milena Del Valle. In a Dec. 12 decision that was released on Dec. 18, Superior Court Justice Patrick F. Brady ruled that a prosecutor is not barred from bringing a civil and criminal case with the same facts if the client is the public. Commonwealth v. Powers Fasteners Inc., No. SUCR2007-10802 (Suffolk Co., Mass., Super. Ct.) “When the Attorney General represents the Commonwealth in parallel criminal and civil cases, she represents the same public interest in both, without the dangers that come with concurrent representation of a private party,” wrote Brady. Powers tried to dismiss the case and have Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley disqualified for conflict of interest. Coakley is also running a civil case against Big Dig contractors for project cost overruns. Commonwealth v. Bechtel Corp., No. SUCV2006-4933 (Suffolk Co., Mass., Super. Ct.) “We believe Judge Brady’s decision accurately reflects the state of the law in Massachusetts relative to the authority of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth,” said Coakley, in a statement. Defense attorney Max Stern of Boston’s Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin, said he believes the decision is wrong. “There’s a serious risk that the criminal defendant will not have disinterested decision making to which it is entitled,” Stern said. Stern also said his team believes an appellate court would say a criminal defendant is “entitled to a prosecutor who is not burdened by financial interests, public or private.”

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