Jim Justice

Coal companies controlled by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have agreed to a settlement covering millions of dollars in overdue property taxes in four eastern Kentucky counties: Harlan, Knott, Magoffin, and Pike.

Checks totaling $1.2 million from Justice entities began rolling in last week, county officials said. According to state officials, the checks cover half the delinquent debt owed. Counties will receive the remaining amount in payments over the next six months.

Sydney Boles

The rain started around 10:30 p.m. By midnight, the creek in front of Elvis and Laura Thackers’ house had swelled to a mighty flood, uprooting trees, moving boulders and surging right up to the couple’s front steps. The Thackers decided to abandon their home. But when they got into their Jeep, they found the flood had washed the road away, leaving them trapped.

“Water was everywhere,” Laura Thacker remembered. “I said, ‘You don’t know how big it’s going to get.’”

Jessie Wright/WVPB

The Justice family companies’ difficulties paying taxes over the years are well documented. But tax collectors haven’t been the only ones trying to recover debts from companies once operated by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and now in control of his family.

A review of court documents by the Ohio Valley ReSource found at least five cases in which judges ruled that Justice family companies failed to pay suppliers for goods or services.

 

Vice.com

At the heart of this case are contract disputes between a paper company called WestRock and two coal companies controlled by the Justice family.

WestRock and Southern Coal Corporation have for years been fighting in court over a coal supply agreement for a paper mill in Florida.

The parties had settled, but after making three payments, Southern Coal stopped. This year, a federal court awarded WestRock a settlement totalling just over one-million-dollars.

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

The country’s newest Republican governor is, like President Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman, a political outsider, and a fan of the coal industry.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a former coal company owner, was elected as a Democrat but switched parties with a surprise announcement at a Trump rally in West Virginia. 

 

npr.org

(Note: This is one of two stories on this topic produced as part of a collaborative effort between The Ohio Valley ReSource and NPR)

A joint investigation by NPR and the Ohio Valley ReSource finds that billionaire coal operator Jim Justice’s companies owe more than $12 million dollars in county, state, and federal taxes. Justice is running for governor in West Virginia but has debts in five other states.

The investigation also found that companies owned by Justice also owe more than $2 million in delinquent fines for mine safety violations.  

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch/NPR

(Note: This is one of two stories on this topic produced as part of a collaborative effort between The Ohio Valley ReSource and NPR)

The Democratic candidate for governor in West Virginia has never held public office. Jim Justice is instead running on his record as a businessman. He runs coal mines, farms, and a luxury resort, andaccording to Forbes, he’s also the wealthiest person in the state, worth $1.56 billion.  

The Washington Post

West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice has reached a $1.5 million settlement with Kentucky officials over dozens of reclamation violations at several of his coal mines in eastern Kentucky.