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State Transportation Agency Apologizes For Roadkill Dumped On Private Property In Northfield

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 24, 2012 8:40PM

Image Credit: a href="">Jarrod Boord/

The Illinois Department of Transportation issued a formal apology and is in the process of reprimanding highway cleanup workers who were caught dumping roadkill on private property in Northfield.

The carcasses of five deer and at least on dead dog were discovered Nov. 19 behind vacant commercial property. Northfield officials set up an infrared camera to monitor the site. The camera was removed after a few days of fruitless surveillance when three more deer carcasses were dumped in the same spot Dec. 29. Northfield Police decided to pay special attention to the property and finally caught IDOT worker Charlie Otto dumping a dead dog there Feb. 2.

Otto was released without charges on the condition he properly dispose of the dog, but Northfield police informed IDOT, who started their own investigation. IDOT crews finally removed all the carcasses from the spot on Friday, months after they were discovered.

IDOT's investigation concluded the dumpings—a violation of state law—were likely all done by highway cleanup crews. IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said the agency was "shocked and appalled" at the discovery, but wouldn't say how manyworkers would be punished or the types of punishment to be meted. Typically, IDOT buries roadkill on state property, in compliance with an Illinois law requiring carcasses to be incinerated or buried under at least six inches of soil. Chris Anchor, a wildlife biologist with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, told the Sun-Times he thinks the problem is more widespread and said he's come across numerous instances where state and local workers have illegally disposed of roadkill.

"It’s just people being lazy and disposing of them improperly,” Anchor said.