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.