Tonawanda News

Local News

April 16, 2013

Coke victims advised to send in statements

Tonawanda News — The U.S. Attorney’s Office is accepting victim impact statements before the sentencing of Tonawanda Coke and its environmental manager, Mark Kamholz, according to the government’s website. 

On March 28, a jury found Tonawanda Coke and Kamholz guilty on 14 counts of violating two federal laws —  the Clean Air Act and the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act. Kamholz was also found guilty of obstruction of justice.

The verdict was the result of 30-day federal trial that was brought about by residents’ grassroots work. For years, community members alleged that the plant made them sick. Almost ten years ago, those Tonawanda residents began a fight against the corporation. 

Now, a decade later, the defendants face a maximum of $200 million in fines and 75 years in prison. Judge William Skretny is set to sentence the corporation and Kamholz July 15 at 9 a.m. 

The attorney’s office is accepting victim impact statements until July 1. The statements will allow victims of Tonawanda Coke’s crimes to address the court about their experiences prior to the sentencing. 

Victims are welcomed to share how the crime, or the defendant, impacted them or their families, and those who write to the court can also share their thoughts on what sentence should be imposed. 

Individuals can also notify the judge about anything else they think is relevant to the sentencing. 

Those who wish to submit victim impact statements are advised that the defendants may see the statements. Victims are also advised to keep the statements as short and succinct as possible.

Statements or questions should be sent to:

United States Attorney’s Office

Attn: Sharon Knope

138 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202

716-843-5828

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

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