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

Drawing 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

Public official Response
Toledo Mayor Jack Ford No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Louis Escobar No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Pete Gerken No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Karyn McConnell No reply
Toledo City Councilmember George Sarantou No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Betty Shultz No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Frank Szollosi No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Wilma Brown No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Rob Ludeman No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Bob McCloskey No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Michael Ashford No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Ellen Grachek No reply
Toledo City Councilmember Wade Kapszukiewicz No reply
Toledo Environmental Services official E. Jeanette Ball No reply
Toledo Environmental Services official Matt Stanfield No reply
Toledo Environmental Services official Karen Granata No reply
Oregon Mayor Marge Brown No reply
Oregon City Administrator Kenneth Filipiak No reply
Oregon City Councilmember Michael Sheehy No reply
Oregon City Councilmember Jerry Peach No reply
Oregon City Councilmember Jim Seaman No reply
Oregon City Councilmember Sharon Graffeo-Rudess No reply
Oregon City Councilmember Matthew Szollosi No reply
Oregon City Councilmember Jeff Keller No reply
Oregon City Councilmember Mike Seferian No reply
Lucas County Commissioner Harry Barlos No reply
Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak No reply
Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Thomas Palmer No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Doni Miller No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Bruce Baumhower No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember David Boston No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Kenneth Dobson No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Opie Rollison No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Thomas Schlachter No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Daniel Smith No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember William Carroll No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Margarita De Leon No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Dennis Duffey No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Carleton Finkbeiner No reply
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Boardmember Michael Frank No reply
Ohio Governor Robert Taft No reply
Ohio EPA Director Christopher Jones May 11 letter
Ohio EPA official Bob Hodanbosi No reply
Ohio EPA official Steve Fruh No reply
Ohio EPA official Tom Tucker No reply
Ohio EPA official Sudhir Singhal No reply
Ohio EPA official Bill Spires No reply
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur No reply