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The Associated Press reports that Walmart has admitted its guilt in a criminal case that charged it with "improperly disposing of fertilizer, pesticides and other hazardous products that were pulled from stores in California and Missouri because of damaged packaging and other problems." Walmart will pay an $81.6 million fine.

According to the story, "The retail giant entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to misdemeanor counts of violating the Clean Water Act and another environmental law regulating pesticides. The fine also settled Environmental Protection Agency allegations.

"In Kansas City, Mo., the company pleaded guilty to improperly handling pesticides.
The plea agreements ended a nearly decade-old investigation involving more than 20 prosecutors and 32 environmental groups that has cost Wal-Mart a total of $110 million."
KC's View:
I don't mean to be cynical here, but when I saw this story the thing that really surprised me was the guilty plea. Because these things usually get settled by the company in question writing a big check but not admitting any guilt. (The same way that when people get fired or resign, they say they want to spend more time with their families ... which ignores the question of whether their families really want to spend more time with them.)

Not this time.