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Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:30 AM

Meet Freedom Industries, the Company Behind the West Virginia Chemical Spill

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by muriel_volestrangler (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: Business Week

How long has this outfit been around?
About two weeks, in its current form. Freedom Industries is the product of a merger effective Dec. 31, 2013, that combined Etowah River Terminal, the facility where the leak occurred, Crete Technologies, and Poca Blending, located in nearby Nitro. A predecessor company called Freedom Industries was formed in 1986, according to our colleagues at Bloomberg News. How the pieces of the newly formed mini-conglomerate fit together merits urgent inquiry, as does the question of whether there’s any connection between the corporate mash-up and the fateful opening of a one-inch hole that allowed a noxious chemical to escape.

Who’s behind Freedom Industries?
Gary Southern, company president, has been speaking on behalf of Freedom. Legal filings show that Southern is also the president of a company called Enviromine Inc., which supplies “environmental chemistries and services” to coal companies.

At the same time, Freedom’s website list Dennis P. Farrell as president. That clearly needs sorting out. According to the Charleston Gazette, Farrell was the “organizer” of Etowah River Terminal, the Freedom facility where the seepage occurred. The local paper also noted that Farrell’s girlfriend, Kathy Stover-Kennedy, has defended him on her Facebook page. “I’m not asking for anyone’s sympathy,” Stover-Kennedy wrote on Jan. 10, “but a little empathy wouldn’t hurt. And just so you know, the boys at the plant made and drank coffee this morning! I showered and brushed my teeth this morning and I am just fine!”

Anybody else interesting behind Freedom Industries?
Well, yes. State records in West Virginia show that a man named Carl L. Kennedy II joined Gary Southern in forming the company years ago. A well-known restaurant owner and man-about-town in Charleston, according to the Gazette, Kennedy is a twice-convicted felon. The paper reported on Sunday that he pleaded guilty in federal court in West Virginia in 2005 to tax evasion and was sentenced to three years in prison, a penalty that was reduced after he agreed to wear a wire and make controlled cocaine buys in a separate investigation. Kennedy had some background in the cocaine field; in 1987 he “pleaded guilty to selling between 10 and 12 ounces of cocaine in connection with a scandal that toppled then-Charleston Mayor Mike Roark,” the Gazette explained. Kennedy apparently no longer works at Freedom Industries. In another twist, Stover-Kennedy, Farrell’s friend and the Facebook defender of Freedom Industries, is Kennedy’s ex-wife, according to Gazette archives.

Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-13/meet-freedom-industries-the-company-behind-the-west-virginia-spill

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Reply Meet Freedom Industries, the Company Behind the West Virginia Chemical Spill (Original post)
underpants Jan 2014 OP
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #1
get the red out Jan 2014 #4
Snarkoleptic Jan 2014 #2
Tanuki Jan 2014 #7
jsr Jan 2014 #3
sasquuatch55 Jan 2014 #5
Gordon Alf Shumway Jan 2014 #6
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2014 #8

Response to underpants (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:41 AM

1. Why are you attacking Freedom?

The Tea Party hates when you do that.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 09:59 AM

4. Just that word "Freedom"

That's a sign to me that this company must be suspicious.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 09:00 AM

2. I posted the following on a thread yesterday, but feel it's worth bringing up again.

Here's an oddity from the WV SOS office.

This was filed on 12/31/2013.

MERGER: MERGING ETOWAH RIVER TERMINAL, LLC, A QUALIFIED WV LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, POCA BLENDING, LLC, A QUALIFIED WV LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, CRETE TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, A QUALIFIED DE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY WITH AND INTO FREEDOM INDUSTRIES, INC., A QUALIFIED WV CORPORATION, THE SURVIVOR



The dates these companies filed articles of organization/incorporation in WV are as follows-
Freedom Industries, Inc. - 2/10/92
Etowah River Terminal, LLC - 11/15/11
Poca Blending, LLC - 11/26/13 (originally filed 10/13/99, revoked on 8/3/05 for failure to file annual reports, and risen like a phoenix a month and a half ago)
Crete Technologies, LLC - 10/8/08
Freedom Industries was a prior partner in the Poca Blending operation.

How long have the tanks been leaking? Why would a zombie corporation be revived 45-days ago and hastily merged with these other entities?
Bankers have been know to use such tactics to take trouble assets and offload them by merging, loading the zombie corp. with everything they want to offload, and then spinning it off into oblivion.

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Response to Snarkoleptic (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:54 AM

7. Good catch, and I hope this will be thoroughly investigated. I have also been concerned that

this corporation may have few real assets to cover the financial damages that they have caused. It sounds as if there was a calculated decision to spin this off to limit liability.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 09:51 AM

3. They'll get a scolding and a slap on the wrist.

This is West Virginia.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:00 AM

5. With Freedom in it's name most will think it a noble enterprise.

And the red,white and blue sign is a kicker.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:34 AM

6. Full Company Name ...

Freedom from Environmental and Safety Regulations, Inc.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:55 AM

8. Locking - this is analysis and background information, not news

Please consider re-posting in GD or Good Reads. Thanks.

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