Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bill Williams: International Man of Misery

Bill Williams, President of Gogebic Taconite (GTAC), is a very unpleasant fellow.  His disposition appears to be one of an assaultive nature.

He assaulted Wisconsin's democracy and legislative process by buying off State Representative Mark
Honadel and the other Teapublicans in order to get a mining bill, which is company wrote, passed despite the overwhelming opposition to it.  I would be remiss if I also did not bring up the matter of the armed mercernaries that Williams hired to threaten and intimidate Wisconsinites who might approach the area.  I should also remind the gentle reader that these Penokee Pinkertons were here illegally.

During the process, Williams is accused of assaulting an opponent to the mine:
An opponent of the proposed Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) mine in Ashland and Iron counties has filed a report with City of Ashland Police, alleging he was assaulted by GTAC President Bill Williams on Thursday at the Ashland County Courthouse after the Ashland County Board overwhelmingly approved a pair of mining-related ordinances.

David Joe Bates, a Bad River Tribal member from Odanah, said Williams snatched a cellphone he was using to record a conversation between Williams and Ashland County Administrator Jeff Beirl following the meeting.

“Bill Williams was angry with the passage of the zoning ordinance and he took his rage out on me,” Bates said in an email to The Daily Press. “By the way, I have been diagnosed with a hyperextended shoulder as a direct result of this assault. I’ll be lawyering up!”

Bates asserted on a Facebook posting that Williams “ripped the cell phone right out of my hand.”
As it turns out, it appears that Wisconsin isn't the only place where Williams has wrought his mayhem.

In the past few days, it has come out that there is a great likelihood that Williams will be facing charges in Spain for damaging the ecology near a copper mine and injecting arsenic-rich water into the groundwater, as reported by Barbara With at Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative:
In breaking news yesterday, a federation of over 300 environmental groups in Spain called Ecologists in Action (EIA) announced that Gogebic Taconite (GTac) President Bill Williams is facing criminal trial in Spain for multiple environmental violations committed while he was director of the Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) copper mine in Seville Province. Charges include the illegal pumping of arsenic-contaminated water into the local aquifer and other criminal damage to public property. Also being charged are François Fleury and Paz Cosmen, also employees of CLC.

Williams previously denied any involvement with the environmental problems at Cobre Las Cruces, claiming that he left the mine before the damage was done. On July 19, 2011 Williams addressed a crowd at the Deep Water Grill (see video below), citing Cobre Las Cruces as an example of a successful application of the “dry stacking” technology GTac claims would eliminate toxic runoff from waste rock at its proposed Penokee Hills iron mine. The Spanish court case, however, makes it clear that operations at Cobre Las Cruces caused significant environmental damage and that this damage occurred on Williams’ watch.

According to an article in No A La Mina, in 2008 EIA requested an outside hydrologist be brought in to monitor the water management system of the Cobre Las Cruces mine. At that time they also requested that judicial proceedings be opened against CLC for alleged crimes against the environment.

I would strongly suggest that the gentle reader also read the reports by Tony Stella at Stella Reports, who feels that it is all but a matter of time before Williams gets charged. Stella also provides a concise summary of the situation:
The court has concluded a preliminary period of investigation which included written responses from Bill Williams and others. It was determined that sufficient evidence exists to proceed with charges against three of the defendants, including Mr. Williams. One defendant was found to have joined the company after the violations took place, and he was dismissed from the proceeding.

The defendants subsequently appealed. A panel of judges has denied that appeal, finding enough evidence or "reasonable suspicion" to proceed, and no further appeals are allowed at this stage, meaning the prosecutor and Ecologists in Action have the green light to proceed with the charging documents. The court is now merely awaiting the charging documents, similar to our "information" or "indictment," and a trial will take place based on those charging documents, according to the individual quoted above, who has been closely involved in the case.

Mr. Williams will be subpoenaed to appear at the trial, but extradition is not guaranteed in this case, and it is possible he could be tried in his absence if the court so decides. The initially stated charges do carry the possibility of prison sentences.

Via Stella, there is also a link to an Spanish news article on the subject (which is poorly translated).

I would also recommend that the gentle reader follow Woods Person who is also following the story very closely.

No matter which way you look at it, the story is the same.  Williams is a soulless, greedy thug that is only concerned with increasing his wealth through corruption and exploitation.  He is a poor steward of natural resources and is selling the state a maleficent bill of wares which will leave our environment in ruins and the state to pay for the mess he is being allowed to cause.


  1. And the spoils of wealth will spoil and desecrate this great state if this mine is allowed to go ahead. .

  2. There's such shameless non uuuuuunion pigs -- maybe they can join AFL-CIO to fix that before the trial.

  3. So williams put a little toilet water in spain's cesspool -- big deal -- who hasn't taken a piss in the pristine woods and we all know what BEARS do there.

    Americans need to get over quaint notions like a percieved need for safe, clean water -- this is why they sell bottled water.

    Besides, we need those jobs -- even if they are corrupt and racist big-union jobs.

  4. Bill Williams, eco-terrorist and wanted man, is nothing but a turd in the GTAC toilet bowl now and Chris Cline will be flushing him soon enough. A new con man will be arriving on the scene to pass out the bribes and encourage the sub-moronic, racist Teabillies in the pursuit of Northern Wisconsin's destruction.

  5. Extradite Williams to Spain to face the charges that he poisoned Spain's water with arsenic.

    Why, they might even be smart enough to add charges of "international terrorism"

  6. To be fair, GTAC will poison the water with sulfuric acid, not arsenic. There is no way that the mine won't create copious amounts of sulfuric acid with all the pyrite (iron sulfide) in the caprock that has to be blasted out to get to the iron ore that could be processed into taconite. GTAC does not care. No one who owns or works for GTAC is from Wisconsin.