A contractor initially involved
in renovations at the former Younkers building downtown claims that hundreds of
people are being exposed daily to asbestos or lead poisoning at the site,
according to a copyrighted story on DesMoinesRegister.com.
Multiple state officials say a complaint about the asbestos made to 11 state
and federal officials Jan. 29 is unfounded. A company overseeing the renovation
work filed a lawsuit this month alleging multiple counts of libel against
RedNet Environmental Services of West Des Moines, the company making the
asbestos allegations. RedNet's owner said the situation at the former Younkers
building is "no different or maybe even worse than the Equitable Building
with Bob Knapp." Knapp was sentenced in 2011 to 41 months in prison for
his involvement in a conspiracy to ignore federal asbestos regulations in
redevelopment of another downtown Des Moines building.