Greene general contractor Stephen Lessard is being held in contempt of court for failing to pay a $405,000 fine and correct Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations for which his roofing business has been cited, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.

The civil contempt judgment, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, orders Lessard to submit proof of correction for the cited workplace hazards and pay the fine within 20 days, the department said in a news release. Failure to do so will result in additional sanctions that could include imprisonment, it said.

Lessard Bros. Construction Inc. of Greene was cited by OSHA for 11 safety violations at 11 different worksites in Maine between 2000 and 2011, the department said. Violations included the absence of safety equipment to prevent workers from falling off scaffolding.

Since that time, it said, Lessard has refused to correct the violations and pay the fines and interest, even after the department obtained an order in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine in December 2011. The department said it asked the appeals court in February to hold Lessard in civil contempt for defying the 2011 order.

Lessard said Thursday that he does not have the money to pay the fine, and that the jobs for which he was cited were completed years ago, making it impossible for him to now prove that the safety issues were corrected. He said the labor department failed to notify him in advance about the contempt hearing.

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