Who is "U.S. Coking Group"?

April 26, 2004

Letter to each of the following --

Toledo Mayor: Jack Ford
Toledo City Council: Louis Escobar, Pete Gerken, Karyn McConnell, George Sarantou, Betty Shultz, Frank Szollosi, Wilma Brown, Rob Ludeman, Bob McCloskey, Michael Ashford, Ellen Grachek, Wade Kapszukiewicz
Toledo Environmental Services: E. Jeanette Ball, Matt Stanfield, Karen Granata

Oregon Mayor: Marge Brown
Oregon City Administrator: Kenneth Filipiak
Oregon City Council: Michael Sheehy, Jerry Peach, Jim Seaman, Sharon Graffeo-Rudess, Matthew Szollosi, Jeff Keller, Mike Seferian

Lucas County Commissioners: Harry Barlos, Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Maggie Thurber
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board: Thomas Palmer, Doni Miller, Bruce Baumhower, David Boston, Kenneth Dobson, Opie Rollison, Thomas Schlachter, Daniel Smith, William Carroll, Margarita De Leon, Dennis Duffey, Carleton Finkbeiner, Michael Frank

Ohio Gov. Robert Taft
Ohio EPA: Christopher Jones, Bob Hodanbosi, Steve Fruh, Tom Tucker, Sudhir Singhal, Bill Spires

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur

Dear public official:

As someone involved in the "U.S. Coking Group" undertaking, you may have noticed something: Never in Ohio history has the government at all levels gone to such extremes to run interference for a project whose backers' identity remains concealed from the public.

So far, all statements by and about the company have identified Frank Stella as its leader. Mr. Stella is chairman and CEO of the F.D. Stella Products Company in Detroit, a firm that designs and distributes food service and dining equipment. He founded the company in 1946, and is reputed to have been a good businessman and a civic leader in the Detroit area. We know nothing to the contrary.

It is quite another thing for anyone to believe that at this stage in his career, he would suddenly decide to become the prime mover in a $300 million investment in a coke complex in Toledo. We don't buy it, and we doubt you or anyone else does either.

Surely the public -- in whose name you have been doing all this -- deserves answers to some basic questions:

  1. Do you know who the real backers of "U.S. Coking Group" are?

  2. If so, who are they?

  3. Why has this information been withheld from the public to this date?
Please reply by phone, mail, email or fax to Sandy Buchanan, Ohio Citizen Action, 614 West Superior Avenue 1200, Cleveland OH 44113, (216) 861-5200, FAX (216) 694-6904.

With thanks,

Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director
Ohio Citizen Action