Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Soft landings for high-profile GTac mine personnel

Thought I'd catch you up on what some of the now-cancelled NW Wisconsin GTac iron mine's folks are up to these days.

*  Bill Williams, often in the news as the project's top dog when the proposed open-pit mine came and went just landed a suspended sentence and fine for having dumped arsenic in a Spanish water table while managing a mine there:

The southern Seville court said Thursday that Bill Williams, former water director at the Cobre Las Cruces open pit mine, and two others, had been fined 2,700 euros ($3,000) each for mismanaging and polluting a public drinking water aquifer with arsenic from 2005 to 2008. 
They were also given one-year suspended prison sentences. 
*  WI Gov. Scott Walker gave former GTac lobbyist company Bob Seitz a top job at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, PSC records show:

Executive Assistant to Chairperson Nowak 
Bob Seitz
In fact, Walker considered naming Seitz to the number two post at the DNR after the incumbent  Matt Moroney, was moved to Walker's staff as a special assistant.

Seitz, also formerly a lobbyist for the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity had spoken on the mining company's behalf at some of the now-defunct plan's highest-profile moments.

Despite harsh criticism from two northern legislators and an outcry from anti-mining activists, a spokesman for Gogebic Taconite said Tuesday that armed, paramilitary-style guards will continue to patrol the site deep in the Penokee Range where the company wants to build a large open pit iron mine. 
Bob Seitz, a Madison lobbyist representing Gogebic, said the guards are necessary because of a confrontation between 15 to 20 protesters and an unknown number of mine workers a month ago. 
“The guards are going to stay,” Seitz said. 
Mine guards on the site of the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine in Northwestern Wisconsin's Penokee Range. Gogebic officials hired the armed guards from Bulletproof Security in Arizona and said Tuesday that, despite criticism, the guards will continue patrolling the site. Courtesy of Rob Ganson

Side note: Also at the PSC, as a gubernatorial-appointed senior administrator, is former State GOP Rep. Jeff Stone, records show:

Division of Water, Telecommunications, and Consumer Affairs (DWCCA) - Administrator: Jeff Stone
Stone helped move along the sweetheart mining bill which is still on the books though GTac, its principle beneficiary, pulled out.

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