The good news: Squabbling Toledo-area politicians are finally united on something.
The bad news: That something is hiding the real identity of the "U.S. Coking Group."
May 12, 2004
On April 26, Sandy Buchanan, Ohio Citizen Action Executive Director, wrote to all public officials in Ohio involved in the "U.S. Coking Group" undertaking, noting that "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."
Buchanan said "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."
The letter asked each official -- (1) Do you know who the real backers of "U.S. Coking Group" are? (2) If so, who are they? and (3) Why has this information been withheld from the public to this date? Their answers are tallied below.
The new coke plant hasn't even been built, yet it already emits an odor that can be smelled all over the county.
MORE ON U.S. COKING GROUP