DOWNIEVILLE–If California’s Attorney General Kamela Harris had her way, the Sixteen to One Mine would be in bankruptcy court before the turn of the new year.
Kamela Harris isn’t getting her way. Which is not to say the Sixteen won’t eventually end up in bankruptcy court; but it will at least take the State of California a considerably longer time to drive the mine into extinction.
Championing the State’s corrupt and power mad Water Quality Control Board, the Attorney General insisted in September that the Water Board had an open and shut case against the Sixteen to One mine. Slam dunk, they assured Judge Kennelly, so let’s just save the time and find against the mine.
The Water Board is seeking some $2 million in fines, the maximum the law allows, against the mine. At issue are 13 missing water testing reports required of the mine.
The Attorney General was seeking a summary judgement, arguing there are no facts at issue, that there are no issues that warrant a trial.
Judge Kennelly this week issued his ruling: there are, he ruled, questions that require at least a hearing, if not a trial. The motion for summary judgement was denied.
There are several issues involved, some of which may never be heard. The law, always a curious instrument, may prevent the misbehavior of the State agency from being presented, much less examined.
The Water Board itself evidently never directed staff to bring the lawsuit. The Water Board long ignored its requirement to change the nature of the mine’s permit when the mine quit milling ore. The Water Board routinely violates the Brown Act, the State’s “open meeting” law.
Unfortunately, the rule of law in the United States is a quaint thing of the past. Those in charge of enforcement and prosecution routinely ignore many laws, but find one applicable to someone unpopular.
There is no question that various State bureaucracies have a personal vendetta against Mike Miller, CEO of the Sixteen to One Mine. We are well informed of collaboration of State “environmental” lawyers, regardless of the employing agency.
The California District Attorneys Association may well be the conduit for the constant harassment of Miller and the Sixteen to One.
Readers will recall when attorneys Gale Filter, Kyle Hedum, Anthony Patchett and Denise Mejlszenker, most now in public employment, from that Association hijacked the criminal justice system from our elected, if incompetent, district attorney to charge Miller with murder.
Those attorneys, “environmental” lawyers all, were not above violating the law to instigate their case. Of course, they paid no price for their own misconduct: their fraternity almost always protects its own. They certainly broadcast their opinion of Miller and the Sixteen to their confederates.
Enter the sudden interest of the Attorney General in an issue the Water Board has ignored for over a decade.
At least now the Sixteen will have its day in court: what issues will be allowed, we haven’t a clue, but neither the Water Board nor the Attorney General will be rolling over yet another Sierra County business.
Among other things, Judge Kennelly did point out an evident conflict in law: the Water Board must consider the ability to pay when setting the terms of a fine.