DALLAS — Joe Ondrusek, the president of Columbia Packing Company, says he's no longer going to slaughter pigs at the company's Oak Cliff plant.
He hopes that will make city inspectors happy and allow the business to re-open so they can continue to process and package meat.
That proposal, however, does not sit well with City Council member Dwaine Caraway, who wants to shut the plant down for good.
After weeks of refusing to permit city leaders on its property, and declining to answer media questions, Columbia Packing Company released a highly produced public relations video on YouTube to answer allegations.
"We have not done anything... um... illegal," Joe Ondrusek says in the video. "There was a problem. We fixed the problem. and we would like to get back to work."
The plant is accused of dumping pig blood into Cedar Creek that eventually flowed into the Trinity River. Columbia claims a clogged sewer pipe caused the overflow and the city knew about it for weeks.
"When we were contacted on January the 19th, that's 40-something days that all of this could have been eliminated had they just told us that there was a problem," Ondrusek said in the company's video presentation.
But the city said they kept quiet because there was an ongoing federal investigation.
Caraway has been leading the charge against Columbia. "You don't send them smoke signals and tell them 'Here we come,'" the Council member said.
Columbia says it takes issue with the city accusing it of having a hidden pipe that bypassed the city's sewer line in order to dump the blood into the creek. It claims that was an old line that hadn't been used in years.
"There's no possible way that anything could have ever recently flown [sic][ through the pipe," said Rusty Ondrusek, another Columbia executive, in the YouTube video. "The pipe is not, was not any form of disposal pipe."
But the city said there is a second hidden pipe that was being used illegally.
"What was clogged was the second pipe," Caraway said. "They got busted and were told not to remove the pipe without proper authorities, and they went ahead and proceeded with that and removed the evidence."
News 8 has learned that the Dallas County District Attorney's office is still considering criminal charges involving the hidden pipe.