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Lavelle conviction final chapter in EPA scandal

Rita Lavelle's perjury conviction for lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation into the nation's toxic waste cleanup program closes the books on the scandal that rocked the EPA this year.

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A federal court jury Thursday convicted Miss Lavelle on four of five felony counts she faced, stemming from answers she gave under oath to two congressional panels in February and in a sworn written statement made to a third panel last December.

The jury found Miss Lavelle innocent on one perjury count, which accused her of lying to Congress about using the Environmental Protection Agency's $1.6 billion ''Superfund'' cleanup program to help Republican politicians.

Miss Lavelle faces sentencing Jan. 9. She remains free without bail, but could receive a prison term of up to 20 years and fines of up to $19,000.

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