Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tonawanda Coke Sentencing !

Sentencing in the Tonawanda Coke case was today.

Chief U.S. District Justice William Skretny ordered Tonawanda Coke to pay a fine of $12.5 million over 5 years (i.e. $2.5 million in annual installments) and issued a sentence of 5 years probation. Based on the violations, as Tonawanda Coke was found guilty on 14 of the 19 counts levied, the company was facing fines up to $290 million dollars as tallied by the judge. According the the Buffalo News 'Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny said he sought a “reasonable” penalty that proved more than a “mere slap on the proverbial wrist.”'
The government sought $57 million, with most it, about $44 million, classified as a criminal fine. I wonder what the judges definition of a slap on the wrist is ?? 

The plant will also be required to fund two community service projects not to exceed $12.2 million: an epidemiological study and a soil testing project proposed by Jackie James Creedon. The epidemiological study will be a 10-year study on the health effects that the coke oven emissions have had on the nearby Tonawanda and Grand Island communities that will be conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions. The soil sampling study will be done by the community.

Earlier this week, Skretny rejected a request that residents of Grand Island and the Town of Tonawanda be allowed to seek restitution as part of today’s sentencing of the company. So basically the people who have been harmed are not really getting much of anything out of this. 

The judge also sentenced Tonawanda Coke's environmental manager, Mark Kamholz, to one year and one day in jail along with a $20,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. He was found guilty of 15 criminal charges and had been facing up to 75 years in prison.

So, on the whole - lame does not even begin to cover it. Disgusting isn't close either. I am just aghast - this is appalling.

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