A petition was delivered today by Greg Coleridge, of NE Ohio American Friends Service Committee, on behalf of close to 400 Ohio residents, to Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine calling for revocation of corporate charters associated with Ben Lupo. Lupo has been indicted on charges of violating the federal Clean Water Act for intentionally dumping as much as 250,000 gallons of toxic radioactive frack waste into a storm drain accessing a tributary of the Mahoning River he was caught at the end of January. An introductory letter written to several State Representatives states, “The attached petition calls on Attorney General DeWine to respond not with a fine or revocation of a permit, but a revocation of his corporate charter(s) — a common response used by our forebears in Ohio in response to corporations acting beyond their authority as defined in their corporate charters. Quo warranto proceedings were once used routinely as a democratic tool by Ohio legislatures and courts to affirm the sovereign power of We the People over corporate, which are, after all, creations of government. The petition to Attorney General Mike DeWine is offered in the spirit of affirming that We the People and our elected representatives possess and should utilize this democratic tool to ensure that corporations are ultimately subordinate to us. It is also a legal means for elected officials and the courts to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens. Please consider urging the AG to initiate such proceedings.”
The petition reads:
Petitioning Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine: Revoke the Charters of Corporations Connected to Ben Lupo
Corporations should serve the public good. They receive their charter (or license to exist) from the government, which grants them certain privileges and powers. Corporations who break the law and do so with intent should not simply be fined, but have their charters revoked or terminated. Revoking corporate charters and dissolving corporations reinforces the reality that We the People are in charge of our own legal creations. It also will serve as a deterrent to others connected to corporations who feel they can act unlawfully, yet be protected by the corporate legal shield.
Whereas, quo warranto is a legal proceeding challenging the continued right of an individual or corporation to possess governmental privilege, be it an office in the case of an individual or charter in the case of a corporation; and
Whereas, the people of the state of Ohio possess the right and authority to call on the Ohio Attorney General to initiative a quo warranto action which would terminate a corporate charter if that corporation has broken the law and/or misused its corporate franchise, privilege or right conferred upon it by law; and
Whereas, initiating a quo warranto legal proceeding which may lead to the termination of a corporate charter represents the fundamental democratic principle that corporations are creations of the state through the corporate charter and beholden to serving the public interest; and
Whereas, Ben Lupo, d/b/a one or more of as many as 20 corporate fronts, apparently instructed his employees to dump as much as 250,000 gallons of waste materials from unconventional horizontal hydraulic fracturing into the City of Youngstown’s storm sewer system, knowing or having reason to know that the system was connected ultimately and directly to the Mahoning River; and Whereas, such fracking waste material likely contained measurable levels of benzene, heavy metals, radium-226 and -228, which are prohibited from such method of disposal; and
Whereas, the dumping was in no way an accident or merely negligent occurrence, but was deliberate and intentional; and
Whereas, the citation record of one or more of Lupo’s corporations indicates a deliberate and continuing intention to pollute with indifference to the consequences of polluting acts upon farmland, public water supplies and human health and well-being; and Whereas, a system of civil or criminal fines and sanctions is a piecemeal and unsatisfactory means of attempting to correct misbehavior by entities whose purpose for existing is to extract maximum profit by the quickest and dirtiest means available; and Whereas, that the act of intentional pollution by disposing of toxic materials into a public waterway, from whence the polluter knows or should know that drinking water supplies for human beings are drawn constitutes a felonious and dangerous assault on the public health and safety; and
Whereas, such misconduct is habitual and recurring through one or of Ben Lupo’s corporations.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE UNDERSIGNED PETITIONERS:
1) That it is in the public interest that the corporate existences of all corporate entities directly or indirectly under the control of Ben Lupo, which pose an imminent and continuing threat to the public health and safety of the citizens of Ohio, be permanently terminated; and
2) The undersigned Petitioners do instruct the Attorney-General of the State of Ohio to initiate and prosecute charges in quo warranto to cause the permanent termination of all entities controlled directly or indirectly by Ben Lupo which are incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio, and to cause the permanent suspension registrations of any corporate entities controlled directly or indirectly by Ben Lupo which are incorporated outside of Ohio; and
3) That the assets of all of Ben Lupo’s corporations, and his personal assets all be attached and seized and applied to remedy his acts of intentional pollution and endangering the public health and safety.