Karen Hartwell, age 67, of Sahuarita, AZ, pleaded guilty to Attempted Fraudulent Schemes & Practices in connection with her work as a certified water operator.
Between September 5, 2016, and June 30, 2017, Hartwell altered 13 drinking water test results for six different southern Arizona water districts that were clients of her company, YL Tech. Hartwell then submitted the altered results to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). In each of the 13 altered test results, Hartwell modified the testing paperwork with a computer program to replace a positive coliform test result with a negative result. Drinking water quality rules require testing for coliform bacteria on a monthly basis.