Brickbat: Getting the Shaft


Rafael Ben Ari /

A federal jury has awarded $100 million to the operators of a gravel mine after finding that Sacramento County, California, officials put them out of business with legal and regulatory measures in order to benefit a rival company. Three county officials were also found personally liable. County aggregate resources manager Jeff Gamel was hit the hardest, with the jury ordering him to pay $1 million to the miners.

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  1. Later in 2010, according to the brief, the county raised the deposit that the mining operation had to post to fund future reclamation efforts. The bond skyrocketed $164,000 to $830,000. Eventually it reached $8.8 million, the brief said.

    “In a final twist of the knife, (the county) barred Hardesty from selling stockpiles worth million of dollars, leaving them worthless,” the Hardestys’ brief said. “Hardesty’s business was ruined.”

    The subtlety of people who are sure they’re untouchable.

  2. Personally liable! I’m in heaven!

    Vote Woodchipper!

    1. It makes you rock hard? Damn, that’s stone cold.

      1. shafted

        1. I guess we all take it for granite that you’ll not copy the brickbat title.

  3. County aggregate resources manager Jeff Gamel was hit the hardest, with the jury ordering him to pay $1 million to the miners.

    I’m guessing he’ll pay this off out of kickbacks and keep his job with the county.

  4. Ugh. I worked in a gravel mine for a few months right after high school. 12am to 8:30am shift. You would have to jump in a large bucket with six other guys, drop you about 200ft below ground, and spend the night drilling holes into a stone wall for the dynamite, go to the other side of the pit to be clear of the blast(if you’ve ever been in an enclosed area near a dynamite blast you’ll notice hundreds of little ripples dancing across your clothing), then take a long hooked pole and try to pull down any loose rock that didn’t fall.

    Oh, there also was a constant 20mph wind from a large fan placed over another hole to clear out any dust and possible carbon monoxide. I took that job during the winter. The most miserable fucking job I ever had. The setting could only be described as Hell’s Waiting Room.

  5. And the main point is that the jury’s finding of fact and harm is not the end of the issue. Note the PRIVATE attorney hired by the county is expecting the ruling to be reversed in POST TRIAL motions! By an ELECTED judge! So the graft and cronyism will continue, and the injured parties haven’t seen a dime yet.
    To the barricades! (I know where there is a large, worthless pile of gravel)

    1. They should be stoned.

  6. Why the fuck is this not about their jail time for organized crime?

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