Thomas Mangan was disbarred in 2001.

LEWISTON – A former Lewiston attorney is being sued by the state for thousands of dollars in fines.

The lawsuit filed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has nothing to do with Thomas Mangan’s now-defunct law practice.

It stems from his role as the owner of a local tire storage business.

According to the lawsuit, Mangan has been violating state environmental laws since July 1999 by storing scrap tires at unlicensed sites in Lewiston, Poland and Greene, by having tires moved by unlicensed transporters and by ignoring an order from the State Board of Environmental Protection.

Mangan’s troubles with city and state officials started shortly after he took over Tire Collection Inc. in April 1999, according to court papers.

The original storage site was located on Spring Street in Lewiston on property owned by James Holmes.

In 1999 the lawsuits says, more than 350 tons of tire rubber were stockpiled in a warehouse, in a tractor-trailer and outside.

At one point, the city of Lewiston realized that the number of tires at the site had increased dramatically. City officials filed two land-use citations against Tire Collection Inc. and Holmes, ordering them to remove the tires in certain areas, to reduce the total number of tires at the site and to stop accepting deliveries.

But, according to the lawsuit, the problem only got worse, and the DEP eventually got involved.

Mangan has not practiced law in Lewiston since 2001 when he was disbarred for unethical conduct. The phone number for his home in Poland is unlisted, and the Sun Journal was unable to reach him Monday.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Androscoggin County Superior Court, Mangan hired an unlicensed transporter in the summer of 1999 to take about 5,000 used tires from the Spring Street location to an unlicensed storage facility at 296 Lincoln St. in Lewiston.

In the following fall and winter, he allegedly transported about 6,000 tires to another illegal site on Torrey Road in Poland and two trailer loads to an unlicensed spot in Greene.

After the license for the original site on Spring Street expired on Jan. 1, 2000, and an application for a new license was not submitted, the DEP ordered Mangan to remove every tire from the property or face time in jail.

Mangan and Holmes appealed the order to the Board of Environmental Protection. But the board denied the appeal, finding that the tires were a significant fire hazard and were posing a threat to public health and the environment.

The BEP gave Mangan and Holmes 12 months to get rid of every tire on the site by removing a minimum of 35 tons a month while providing weekly reports to the state with information about where the tires were going and who was taking them there.

“While the defendants did submit some manifests to the department, the manifests were not all fully completed and not received on a weekly basis,” the lawsuit alleges.

Mangan received failure-to-comply notices in March, June, August and October 2000, the lawsuit says.

At some point, the tires were removed from all but one of the sites, said Assistant Attorney General Mary Sauer, who is handling the case for the state.

According to the suit, only one trailer load remains in Greene. The main purpose of the lawsuit is to collect fines from Mangan, Sauer said.

In addition to asking the court to order Mangan to remove the remaining tires in Greene, the state wants Mangan to pay between $100 and $10,000 for every day that each of the sites was in violation.

Sauer said she has no idea what the total amount could be.

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