What They’re Saying: Justice Companies Subject of “Multiple Unpaid Tax Liens” and “Dozens of Safety Violations”

New reporting details that Jim Justice’s companies are the subject of “multiple unpaid tax liens  and “dozens of safety violations” that “pose significant health risks” to mine workers. This is “only the most recent” in a “long history” of Jim Justice’s failure to meet his “financial and work safety obligations,” including public safety violations, unpaid fees and taxes, and millions of dollars in debt.

Here’s what they’re saying: 

Energy Portal: Gov. Jim Justice’s Coal Empire Faces Violation for Dust Control Failure
By Daniel Hall
August 7, 2023

  • Gov. Jim Justice’s coal empire has once again violated federal mine regulations. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently conducted an inspection at a mine in Logan County, which revealed an “unwarrantable failure” on the part of Kentucky Fuel Corp.
  • The violation specifically relates to the company’s failure to maintain effective dust control measures … a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and health of mine workers. Dust particles in mines can pose significant health risks, including respiratory issues and potential long-term complications. 
  • The MSHA’s designation of “unwarrantable failure” is a serious concern, indicating that the violation was not simply accidental or unavoidable. This classification suggests that the coal company demonstrated a lack of effort or unwillingness to address the issue appropriately.

The Herald-Dispatch: MSHA finds dozens of safety violations at Justice coal company mine in Logan County 
By Mike Tony
August 6, 2023

  • Gov. Jim Justice’s coal empire has again run afoul of federal mine regulators, who have a specific phrase for a violation they found at a mine in Logan County during a recent inspection there: “unwarrantable failure.”
  • MSHA said it found that violation and dozens of others during a June 6 impact inspection of the mine. [MSHA] deems violations unwarrantable failures when an inspector finds aggravated conduct that constitutes more than ordinary negligence.
  • More violations were issued resulting from the WV-3 Surface Mine impact inspection — 42 — than any other mine in the country in June, according to MSHA data. Of those 42 violations, a nation-highest 17 were deemed “Significant and Substantial” by the agency, a designation reserved for violations reasonably likely to result in serious injury.

  • Gov. Justice, Jay and Jillean Justice, the governor’s daughter, were listed by MSHA as controllers of mines owing a combined $3.14 million in federal mine safety fine debt as of October.

Energy Portal: Gov. Jim Justice’s Coal Company Owes Over $124,000 in Tax Liens
By Howard Rhodes
August 6, 2023 

  • A coal company owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, managed by his family, has accumulated more than $124,000 in tax liens filed by the state Tax Division. The liens are for unpaid coal reclamation tax payments between March 31, 2020, and January 2021.
  • The total balance due, including tax, interest, and penalties, is $124,861. The most recent letter from the state Tax Division, sent on July 5, shows a balance of $9,676 for the March 31 period. Other letters dated May 5 show a lien balance of $17,747, and the largest lien, dated January 6, is for $37,991. The earliest lien, dated June 6, 2021, is for a balance of $3,147.  
  • In addition to the tax liens, Justice and his businesses have faced other issues, including delinquent property taxes on lots owned by Justice and his businesses, totaling approximately $75,000. These taxes contribute to funding county governments and school systems.

  • This comes as Justice is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2024. He is facing challenges from three other GOP candidates, including U.S. Representative Alex Mooney.

Weirton Daily Times: Justice company subject to multiple W.Va. tax liens
By Steven Allen Adams
August 5, 2023

  • A review of records found that a coal company owned by Gov. Jim Justice and managed by his family has multiple unpaid tax liens filed against it by West Virginia tax officials.

  • Justice ran into issues with the Tax Division during his first term. But the Tax Division is within the Department of Revenue, whose cabinet secretary – Dave Hardy – answers directly to the Governor.
  • The tax liens are only the most recent issues for Justice and his businesses. According to WV MetroNews, close to 100 lots owned by Justice and his businesses were up for auction in June due to delinquent property taxes in McDowell and Raleigh counties. The tax debt for those lots was approximately $75,000. These taxes help fund county governments and school systems.
  • Much attention has come to Justice’s mounting business issues since announcing a run for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2024. ..Justice has three GOP challengers, including U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.
  • Justice’s mine issues go beyond state regulators. Justice and his companies have pending cases brought by the U.S. Justice Department for $7.6 million in civil penalties and unpaid abandoned mine lands fees by 13 Justice-owned companies. Justice companies made another deal the U.S. Attorney’s Office to resume making payments in a 2020 settlement for $5.1 million for unpaid mine safety penalties.

See also: ICYMI: Bouncing checks: Justice’s finances focus of Senate race [Weirton Daily Times]; ICYMI: Justice “Hit With a Gusher of Recent Financial Pressure” as Nearly 300 Properties Are Auctioned Off After Failure to Pay Almost $400,000 in West Virginia Property Taxes; FOR SALE: Nearly 300 Justice Owned Properties Are Being Auctioned Off This Week; ICYMI: Justice’s Finances Face Scrutiny as “Unpaid Fines, Fees, Legal Settlements [And] Defaulted Loans” Mount; Justice’s Finances Face Scrutiny as West Virginia Republicans’ “Battle Royale” Senate Primary Escalates; ICYMI: West Virginia Republicans’ “Battle Royale” Senate Primary Escalates & Justice Faces Scrutiny Over Debt.


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