A petition with nearly 400 signatures was submitted today to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office.
The petitioners are asking that the corporate charter of Youngstown's Ben Lupo be revoked in connection with the Jan. 31 alleged illegal dumping of drilling wastes into the Mahoning River in Youngstown.
Lupo faces federal charges of violating the Clean Water Act. One of his employees is also charged.
Here is the note that was submitted with the petition. It was drafted by Greg Coleridge of the American Friends Service Committee in Cuyahoga Falls.
Her's what Gred wrote:
Attached please find a petition being delivered today, March 6, to the office of
Attorney General Mike DeWine. It calls on him to initiate charter revocation
(called "quo warranto") proceedings against the corporations owned by Ben Lupo.
You may know that Mr. Lupo, d/b/a one or more of as many as 20 corporate fronts,
apparently instructed his employees to dump as much as 250,000 gallons of waste
materials from unconventional horizontal hydraulic fracturing into the City of
Youngstown's storm sewer system, knowing or having reason to know that the
system was connected ultimately and directly to the Mahoning River.
The attached petition calls on Attorney General DeWine to respond not with a
fine or revocation of a permit, but a revocation of his corporate charter(s) --
a common response used by our forebears in Ohio in response to corporations
acting beyond their authority as defined in their corporate charters. Quo
warranto proceedings were once used routinely as a democratic tool by Ohio
legislatures and courts to affirm the sovereign power of We the People over
corporate, which are, after all, creations of government.
The petition to Attorney General Mike DeWine is offered in the spirit of
affirming that We the People and our elected representatives possess and should
utilize this democratic tool to ensure that corporations are ultimately
subordinate to us. It is also a legal means for elected officials and the courts
to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens. Please consider urging
the AG to initiate such proceedings.
Ohio Revised Code (Chapter 2733) describes quo warranto. It identifies the Ohio
General Assembly as another state entity which can commence a quo warranto
proceeding. This may be an option you may wish to consider if the Attorney
General fails to fulfill his duty.
Thank you kindly for your consideration.
Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee
[a Quaker social action organization]
Address: 2101 Front St., #111, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
Here is the actual petition:
Petitioning Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Ohiio Attorrney General Mike
DeWine:: Revoke tthe Charters off
Corporations Connected to Ben Lupo
Corporations should serve the public good. They receive their
charter (or license to exist) from the government, which grants
them certain privileges and powers. Corporations who break the
law and do so with intent should not simply be fined, but have
their charters revoked or terminated. Revoking corporate
charters and dissolving corporations reinforces the reality that
We the People are in charge of our own legal creations. It also
will serve as a deterrent to others connected to corporations
who feel they can act unlawfully, yet be protected by the
corporate legal shield.
, quo warranto is a legal proceeding challenging the
continued right of an individual or corporation to possess
governmental privilege, be it an office in the case of an individual or
charter in the case of a corporation; and
the people of the state of Ohio possess the right and
authority to call on the Ohio Attorney General to initiative a quo
warranto action which would terminate a corporate charter if that
corporation has broken the law and/or misused its corporate
franchise, privilege or right conferred upon it by law; and
Whereas, initiating a quo warranto legal proceeding which may lead
to the termination of a corporate charter represents the fundamental
democratic principle that corporations are creations of the state
through the corporate charter and beholden to serving the public
, Ben Lupo, d/b/a one or more of as many as 20 corporate
fronts, apparently instructed his employees to dump as much as
250,000 gallons of waste materials from unconventional horizontal
hydraulic fracturing into the City of Youngstown's storm sewer
system, knowing or having reason to know that the system was
connected ultimately and directly to the Mahoning River; and
Whereas, such fracking waste material likely contained measurable
levels of benzene, heavy metals, radium-226 and -228, which are
prohibited from such method of disposal; and
the dumping was in no way an accident or merely
negligent occurrence, but was deliberate and intentional; and
the citation record of one or more of Lupo's corporations
indicates a deliberate and continuing intention to pollute with
indifference to the consequences of polluting acts upon farmland,
public water supplies and human health and well-being; and
Whereas, a system of civil or criminal fines and sanctions is a
piecemeal and unsatisfactory means of attempting to correct
misbehavior by entities whose purpose for existing is to extract
maximum profit by the quickest and dirtiest means available; and
Whereas, that the act of intentional pollution by disposing of toxic
materials into a public waterway, from whence the polluter knows or
should know that drinking water supplies for human beings are drawn
constitutes a felonious and dangerous assault on the public health
and safety; and
, such misconduct is habitual and recurring through one or
of Ben Lupo's corporations.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE UNDERSIGNED
1) That it is in the public interest that the corporate existences of all
corporate entities directly or indirectly under the control of Ben Lupo,
which pose an imminent and continuing threat to the public health
and safety of the citizens of Ohio, be permanently terminated; and
2) The undersigned Petitioners do instruct the Attorney-General of the
State of Ohio to initiate and prosecute charges in quo warranto to
cause the permanent termination of all entities controlled directly or
indirectly by Ben Lupo which are incorporated under the laws of the
State of Ohio, and to cause the permanent suspension registrations
of any corporate entities controlled directly or indirectly by Ben Lupo
which are incorporated outside of Ohio; and
3) That the assets of all of Ben Lupo's corporations, and his personal
assets all be attached and seized and applied to remedy his acts of
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.