One of the last few sentences has been handed down in the Freedom industries criminal case regarding the poisoning of the water in Kanawha Valley:
A former co-owner and officer of Freedom Industries on Monday became the fourth official from the company to avoid being sentenced to any jail time, despite playing a role in the January 2014 chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding communities.
U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston sentenced William E. Tis, a former Freedom director and secretary, to three years’ probation and ordered Tis to pay a $20,000 fine.
Tis had pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of causing an unlawful discharge of refuse matter, and faced a statutory maximum of one year in prison. The charges related to Freedom’s spill of MCHM and other chemicals into the Elk River just 1.5 miles upstream from West Virginia American Water’s regional drinking water intake.
My favorite part was the comment from the judge:
As he had with three previous Freedom defendants, (Judge) Johnston said that Tis was “hardly a criminal.”
Tis is LITERALLY fucking appearing in front of the judge for his sentencing in the criminal case in which he was convicted, and the judge tells him he’s not a criminal. He’s the VERY FUCKING DEFINITION OF A CRIMINAL. He may not be a super criminal or a “super predator” to borrow a phrase that has re-emerged, but he is very much a criminal. That’s why he is there.
Thankfully a Bush appointee.
Just Some Fuckhead
Thanks for the fresh thread. Corner Stone was preventing us from having the conversation we need to have, as usual.
Translation: “you don’t look like a black person.”
Fvck that judge.
Golden rule. Those with the gold make the rules.
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
When I see Blankenship getting away with murder, this is not surprising
Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
My blood’s done boiled over. Fuck the court and (almost) all the GOP appointees to the bench. I’ve had a few good experiences in front of some of them, hence the “almost.” Fuck the rest, with rusted metal farm tools, with acid-covered spikes.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
” was preventing us from having the conversation we need to have, as usual. ”
What conversation do we need to have? As usual?
Were we going to talk about our very self-destructive co-dependence? Or just the usual bickering?
You’re not leaving for another, younger, richer miserable lefty blog, are you? Oh, horrors, oh, woe!
I think this Tis guy fits the description of a super-predator.
Surprised I find myself harsher than Cole, for once.
@Baud: Of course a Bush appointee. Most of the Reagan appointees are retired or at least on senior status.
@Omnes Omnibus: There was always a possibility it could have been an Obama appointee. They have to cut deals on judges for various political reasons.
@Baud: Still, the really shitty ones all seem to be appointed by Republicans.
And now, after raking in the bucks, Jeb! has the nerve to complain about Citizens United?
Steve in the ATL
Thank God for the new thread. I was having GOS/firebagger flashbacks in the last one.
The fix was in before the judge got involved.
I don’t know if it got mentioned in the last thread, but the long lines in NH may have been due in part to (whocoodanode?) new voter ID requirements.
OT, but it looks like Chris Christie may be dropping out of the race. I can’t stand the guy but her performed a heroic service for his country the other night.
@Baud: From what I have seen Obama appointed judges have been pretty good. Over all.
@beltane: I’m gonna miss the bastard. I kinda like the blowhards. I mean, they’re horrible people, but at least they keep me entertained. Kinda like the violin players on the Titanic.
@debbie: From the headlines, you might get the impression that he’s hypocritically jumping on the anti-big-money bandwagon, but actually he just wants to cut out the middleman. He wants to overturn Citizens United and eliminate limits on direct contributions to candidates.
@Suzanne: You are originally from the North-East and a non-WASP, right?
@beltane: I hope not. Christie can do so much damage. Please Chris, hang in there, You say you are such a tough guy.
Remember when Christie said Christie will attack and destroy who and when and how whenever Christie wishes, because Christie will be Christie? Remember, Chris? C’mon, give us a break.
Everyone contact Christie campaign and ask him to say. Or clap louder for Christiebell, or something.
@Omnes Omnibus: I am originally from the Northeast and my mom is a WASP and my absentee dad is a guido.
He’s still got two strikes before he’s out.
In other news, Sanders gets 60% of the vote but the same number of delegates as Hillary.
@Suzanne: I’m originally from NYC so the cadences of his speech are almost comforting to me. Maybe I wouldn’t have a beer with him, but I would definitely go for an exchange of “F**k You!”s.
Cant really be a CEO of Freedom Inc. if you’re locked in prison, now can ya? It would have destroyed the rep of the company, leaving it bankrupt and causing massive layoffs. All you libtards should be happy he got probation and a couch-cushion fine, always whining about jobs and small bidnez and water and stuff…
Steve in the ATL
Yeah, Democrats are used to that.
@jl: Best part of all the debates so far was Christie prosecuting the Rubiobot
The other day, someone pointed out that Trump sounds a bit like a male Joan Rivers. Whoever said this was absolutely correct.
@beltane: Are some similarities between a Trump speech and sick stream of consciousness comic routine, like Rivers. Rivers did, and pretty much any comic can do a much better job. And Trump doesn’t mean to do it. But some similarities.
@TallPete: Don’t know if can listen to another one. I will long for the words ‘As a federal prosecutor…. ‘ from Christie, and I know I won’t hear it, and I will weep bitter tears.
Chris, you can destroy the field and bring yourself down with them. Think of what you can accomplish.
Would have been fun to see Christie and Trump as the last two standing and see them bludgeon each other.
@Suzanne: Yeah, I just never saw any affection (even reluctant) outside of the North-East non–preppies for Christie.
@jl: A weekly series of Trump/Christie debates sounds like the worst reality show idea ever. It would probably be a yuuuge success.
what have loved more to see christie indicted and have to leave for that reason
Gotta say- the entire clown car show was much better than 2012. Although that had it’s moments. I miss crazy eyes Michelle Bachmann. And then Palin as veep was to good to be true.
I got to know Thomas Johnston pretty well twenty years ago when he was on the other side of a case that took about two years to litigate. He was a lawyer with integrity, manners and sense. When I heard that he was appointed to the federal bench I thought it he would make a good judge. So I’m a little disappointed to read this.
Still, I note that Tis was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year. So a twenty thousand dollar fine and three years probation is a pretty stiff sentence for that. My question is why Tis was allowed to plead to such a minor charge. The US attorney was the presumably the same person that prosecuted Don Blankenship, and as I recall lives in Charleston maybe ten blocks from the West Virginia American water plant.
Slow down a sec, there, amigo. The judge didn’t decide the offenses that were included in the indictment. I have some rather pointed questions I’d like to ask the U.S. Attorney for that district.
one of my all time favorite christie jokes was a picture of him saying:
“I’m on a diet – I told them, to close the fridge not the bridge!”
@TallPete: This year’s clown car show has less Jesus and more pure craziness. Much better entertainment value. My hope is that the next episode features Trump going after Barbara Bush for campaigning on behalf of her son.
@Aardvark Cheeselog: agreed. But the USA in Charleston is an Obama appointee and a staunch democrat. I don’t understand this.
@burnspbesq: it’s the same USA that tried Don Blankenship.
Hopefully we can have a Gofundme campaign to pay this poor man’s onerous fine. Hasn’t he suffered enough?
@beltane: I said that once! Not sure if it was here. Probably was. So yay me! Probably.
not much shock here.
Wow, no wonder I’m not a lawyer, I always thought that whether one was a criminal was an absolute sort of things, not by degrees.
So, what is this dude a 51% criminal?
pseudonymous in nc
Forget it, John: it’s WestVirginiaTown.
A black kid can get caught smoking a joint in a public park and he spends the night in jail. A white CEO rips off shareholders, pollutes the air and water and bankrupts his company and he gets a large “golden parachute” package with severance pay and deferred compensation. Life, as usual, in post-Reagan America.
@p.a.: Also, “There is a Club, and we are not in it.” These are the guys he a hangs out with at the country club, so they certainly can’t be “criminals,” even though they poisoned thousands of people and ruined a river. The criminal law and prison is about keeping “those people,” who don’t have money, in line.
@efgoldman: She did not indict any bankers or hedge fund managers as far as I know. She was about indicting folks like Aaron Swartz (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/03/11/requiem-for-a-dream).
I have family members in that area of West Virginia who were directly affected by the spill; they had to use bottled water and have their water tested. My cousin’s husband works for that disgusting mine and therefore no one was allowed to criticize them for leaking the toxins. And the spill was just an inconvenience, anyway, leave it to the media to blow it out of proportion. And in the end, Obama hates them and all of West Virginia, so there you go.
@PeakVT: There is an old saying that more banks have been robbed with a pen than a gun. I guess you can add that fewer pen holders go to jail than gun holders.
Well you know, “Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you a king”. Lucky for him he wasn’t an unarmed black teenager; he’d be dead right right.
Paul in KY
@joel hanes: Forget it, John. It’s Whiteytown…
I think there should be a provision in the law regarding sentencing for any violations of our clean air or clean water that the judge presiding in the case be required to drink from the samples of poisoned water or inhale the poisoned air before passing sentence, so that the judge be given an understanding of how severe the problem is and why sentencing should be at the f-cking maximum.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
That just depresses me. Fuck. The only way shit like this is ever going to end is if some of these fuckwads go to jail. What well heeled, well connected asswipe is going to think twice about fouling some town’s drinking water and maybe sickening or even killing a few poors when he knows that all he’ll have to do is cough up a few thousand dollars?
If some of these creeps end up rotting in jail for ten years, well, then, and only then, will others down the road have a good long think before doing the same shit.
Of course he didn’t look like a criminal, he’s a white man in a suit. Criminals are black in a hoodie. SMH.
@Zinsky: A coworker of mine called it an affluenza type verdict.
J R in WV
So the Tis guy helped poison only 300,000 people? The judge thinks that doesn’t make him a criminal?
Fuckin’ amazing these judges.
Tis having poisoned 300,000 people, and we’ll never know how many liver cancer cases that poisoning caused, he isn’t really a criminal, so that’s why he didn’t go to jail for the felony he was convicted of.
The judge should have to shower in Freedom Water, and drink Freedom Water for as long as Tis is on probation. Then we could learn how toxic that shit Freedom put in the drinking water really is. How long it would take for the republican-appointed judge to cough up his pancreas would tell us how dangerous Freedom Water really is.
What a dip, how did he make it through college?
And I see I’m not the only person who thinks some people need to experience polluted air, and drink polluted water, BEFORE they make decisions about that air and water and how it got polluted, and how important punishing people who poison the environment is.