Tonawanda News

The Town

October 23, 2013

Tonawanda Coke attorneys question sentencing, fines

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — A hearing may be held before that date, as Linsin argued Tuesday that expert testimony on the seriousness of the crimes could benefit the court with its sentencing decision.

“It would be very helpful to inform the court on where these offenses fit,” he said, noting that federal environmental cases are rare.

In response, Mango said a hearing is unnecessary and that cases from other districts can provide context to the evidence that was presented at the 30-day trial. 

“Are we going to retry this case?” he asked.

Both sides will submit written arguments on the need of a hearing and Skretny will then issue a decision. If a hearing is ordered, the government will request that community members be allowed to testify about the harm the crimes have caused. 

Linsin objected to that request.

“I see a very treacherous invitation to inject a wide range of testimony, the competency of which we have no way of measuring,” he said. 

Linsin and Mango also discussed the government’s analysis of the company’s ability to pay a fine, yet still remain viable. Tonawanda Coke will provide financial records to the prosecution under an agreement that will keep the documents confidential. 

Mango also requested that the financial records of Erie Coke, another facility owned by Crane, be made available to ensure that company assets are not being transferred from the Tonawanda plant to its sister corporation.

But Skretny refused to grant the request, saying that it was based on speculation and not evidence. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.

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