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updated: 4/22/2013 4:31 PM

Contaminated-water trial begins

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Associated Press

The trial has started for a former South suburban water official accused of lying about how the village drew drinking water from a tainted well for decades, apparently to save money.

The one-time Crestwood official, Theresa Neubauer, has pleaded not guilty.

A federal judge in Chicago asked Monday during jury selection whether any would-be jurors ever worried about the quality of the water in their communities. At least one said he had.

Prosecutors say Crestwood continued drawing drinking water from the well even after environmental officials warned cancer-causing chemicals had oozed into it.

Neubauer is the first official from the village of 11,000 to go to trial over the allegations.

Earlier this month, co-defendant Frank Scaccia chose to plead guilty rather than take his case to jurors.

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