Canada

Walkerton water manager set to be released this month

Walkerton water manager set to be released from jail after serving less than half of his sentence, according to report.

The water manager convicted after Walkerton's deadly E. coli outbreak is set to be released from jail after serving less than half of his sentence, according to a report.

Stan Koebel was granted parole on Monday after serving less than four months of his one-year sentence.

An initial media report said that Koebel had already been released. But his lawyer told The Canadian Press on Friday that his client will be freed later this month and return to his home in Orillia.

Bill Trudell said Koebel made his case for early release himself.

The parole board made its decision partly based on the fact that Koebel was a first-time offender and that he has shown remorse.

He will go from jail into a job in "a new community" where he will "start a new life," said the parole board decision.

Heavy rain led to Walkerton's drinking water becoming contaminated in May 2000. Koebel, along with his brother and right-hand man Frank, failed to raise the alarm, despite complaints from people in the town about vomiting and diarrhea.

Seven people died and 2,500 others fell ill during the tainted-water crisis.

The Koebels pleaded guilty last year to criminal charges.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno found the brothers negligent in discharging their duties.

Durno determined that greater blame lay with Stan, whom he held responsible for delaying a boil water advisory, even though both he and Frank knew from May 17 there were unsafe levels of E. coli in Walkerton's tap water.

He found that Stan lied to government officials for two days.

Frank Koebel received a conditional sentence of six months' house arrest and three months of night curfews.

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