ICYMI: Justice Company Still Refuses To Pay Millions In Fines
Democrat Gov Behind On Taxes, Penalties To Fund Schools, Etc.
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The Associated Press reported Friday that new West Virginia Governor Jim Justice's companies are still millions of dollars behind in paying overdue fines. The Federal Mine Safety & Health Administration reports that Justice-run mines are behind at least $4.6 million on safety fines and penalties.
"Most of it is at the U.S. Treasury for collection," stated the article.
Justice is claimed to be the richest man in West Virginia, but has repeatedly failed to pay employee tax withholding, property taxes, fines and most every sort of bill from governments and business vendors according to national media like NPR.
Despite owing millions, Justice loaned himself at least $3,846,000 for the campaign for Governor, based on reports filed with the Secretary of State.
Mining operations controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice haven't paid $4.6 million in safety fines and penalties, according to federal authorities.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration said that was the unpaid balance as of Wednesday. Most of it is at the Treasury Department for collection.
Some operations have an installment agreement with the federal agency that covers $571,000 of the debt and paid $975,000 previously, according to the federal office.
Justice listed 50 companies involved in mining in his financial disclosure last year at the state ethics commission. He has said he'll put his businesses now run by his children in a blind trust while governor.
The ethics commission hasn't approved such a trust.
The governor's office didn't immediately reply to requests Friday for comment.
Southern Coal Corp., a Justice-owned holding company, said recently in response to an Associated Press query about unpaid taxes that it will meet every obligation owed. The company didn't immediately reply Friday to a query about safety fines and penalties.
The unpaid safety penalties and tax debts owed by Justice-owned coal companies were first reported in October by National Public Radio and The Associated Press.
Justice, while campaigning, made no apologies for the debt owed by some of his coal companies, saying he is doing everything he can to keep his businesses running and workers employed while other companies go under.
He told the AP in November, following his election, that he didn't know how much the West Virginia tax liens were but "anything that's owed to the state will absolutely be paid and cleaned up," depending on whether payment plans are already in place.
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