Tonawanda News

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April 10, 2014

Victims' Rights Week celebrated

Tonawanda News — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York is commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and as part of the celebration, recognized the prosecution against Tonawanda Coke.

The week of April 6-12 pays tribute to the nation’s progress in advancing victims’ rights, a statement from U.S. Attorney William Hochul’s office reads. This year’s theme is “30 Years: Restoring the Balance of Justice,” and recognizes three decades of defending victims’ rights.

“As the chief law enforcement office in the Western District of New York, it is our job to enforce federal laws and bring criminals to justice,” Hochul said in a statement. “While we will continue to focus on solving crime, we need be mindful that victims of crime often continue to suffer long after the jailhouse doors have been closed on the perpetrator. This week serves as an opportunity to commemorate victims nationwide, and to also give thanks for all who work on behalf of the oppressed and mistreated.”

The case against Tonawanda Coke, a River Road plant that was found guilty of violating the Clean Air Act and the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act, was recognized in the U.S. attorney’s office statement regarding National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The plant was sentenced to pay a $12.5 million fine, serve five years a probation and fund $12.2 million in environmental projects to help evaluate the crimes’ health and environmental impacts on the surrounding community. The plant’s former environmental manager, Mark Kamholz, 66, was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay $20,000. 

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