Letter to the Editor

To:Taxpayers and Citizens of Western Wisconsin

I am a retired Circuit Court Judge; and, I have been asked to represent home and property owners and citizen groups opposed to the creation of more frac-sand mines throughout our region; and, who are concerned about the questionable permitting processes used by local governments.

In the course of my representation, I have received frequent and numerous complaints of misconduct and conflicts of interest regarding village, town, city and county officials, lawyers, realtors and mining representatives. The charges range from pro-mining prejudice or favoritism and bias to intentional or unintentional violations of local or state ethics codes and laws.

More seriously, there has been misconduct by officials giving special consideration to individuals, family members or mining interests. There are even instances of criminal self-dealing by officials, who for their own financial benefit, have entered into mining agreements and then promoted granting of mine licenses, development agreements and liberal ordinance terms for the frac-sand industry.

Lawyers cannot, at taxpayer expense, give legal advice to our villages, towns, cities and counties concerning how to best regulate frac-sand mines and rail loadout projects on the one hand; while at the same time serving as lawyers for frac-sand mining interests on the other. Such conflicts of interest constitute professional misconduct.

There are folks who have been convinced by realtors to agree to sell to mining interests, if and when, conditions set by the mining company are met. These confidential one-sided deals favor the mining companies which often lack the present intent and/or the financial resources to proceed with the purchase in the foreseeable future.

Our County District Attorneys are elected and employed to investigate and prosecute many of the violations we have encountered. They serve as the chief law enforcement officers in our counties. As a former District Attorney and Judge, I know these men and women take their duty to preserve and protect our lives and properties very seriously.

If you know of or have reason to suspect wrongdoing by officials, attorneys with conflicts of interest, realtors or mining representatives, you are urged to write to your District Attorney with the facts. If you are being ill-served by your locally-elected boards, stand-up, speak-out; and, recruit and elect honest, fair and impartial representatives to serve and protect your interests.

Finally, we ask that you send a copy of your communication to one of the following organizations which are fighting to protect our environment, our system of justice and the public interest.

Act Now, email: reskdan@centurytel.net
Frac Sand Sentinel, email: sunnyday5@charter.net

Thank you,
Thomas E Lister, PO Box 519, La Crosse, WI 54602-0519

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