In response to yesterday's article about Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth not pressing charges against the Boardwalk polluters, I received a comment to the effect that I was pointing the finger at the wrong guy. My correspondent sought to educate me upon the fact that violations of state environmental law are the responsibility of the Attorney General's office.
This is a pettifogging fact I am painfully aware of. I have already dealt with Asst. Attorney General Tom Piotrowski a number of times regarding the environmental crimes of the Boardwalk developers. I know the drill. (Click here to learn what the stumbling block is for Piotrowski.) However, it's worth noting that what Ryan Gorth allegedly did could be prosecuted as an environmental crime by the Attorney General's office which would explicitly allow for the recovery of the costs of cleaning up the mercury he spilled, but that's not what is happening. Instead Forsyth has taken the lead to prosecute the boy under criminal statutes that are ordinarily his jurisdiction.
Nothing is stopping Forsyth from applying the same laws to the Boardwalk developers, if he wanted to act against them. Furthermore, Forsyth had a specific opportunity to prosecute one of the associates of the Boardwalk polluters on a perjury charge. That was Robert Wardrop, one of the "River Rats" who made false statements to the Kent County Circuit Court which abetted the polluters' illegal dumping of the Boardwalk's hazardous waste. Even though the perjury charge was supported by factual findings of the court, the matter was reviewed by one of Forsyth's deputies and he declined to act.
Again, dear readers, decide for yourselves why Forsyth falls like a pile of bricks on a minor transgression against a kid with no political connections and yet sees no evil in what the bigshots among the Boardwalk polluters did.