Superior Court Judge Michael Sheldon found Thursday that a billboard company and tree removal service illegally clear cut 83 mature trees along I-84 in Waterbury.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sued Lamar Central Outdoor, LLC and its affiliates, and Long Hill Tree Lawn Care Service, Inc. of Trumbull for cutting the trees in 2007 without the required state permits and trespassing. The lawsuit was filed in 2008.

“Companies that violate state permits and laws must be held accountable,’ Blumenthal said. “I will fight for financial penalties against Lamar and Long Hill, as well as an order requiring full restoration of the environment.”

“This decision is a powerful victory for the environment, holding Lamar and Long Hill accountable for brazen breaches of state permits and law,” Blumenthal said. “These companies clear cut trees in defiance of state permits explicitly permitting pruning only. They swept a swath of destruction, obliterating a vital environmental buffer protecting homeowners from noxious noise and views.”

No date has been set for a hearing on damages.

Click here to read our report about the lawsuit being filed.