This conduct also reflects poorly on us

It’s tempting to issue a disclaimer.
That is, any resemblance to another living politician,  is entirely coincidental and unintentional. But we won’t. And for the record, we believe no one is above the law, including Gov. Jim Justice.
Last week, federal officials filed a $4.8 million lawsuit against 23 companies owned by Justice and his family.
That’s not to be confused with the $3.7 million in delinquent taxes that Justice’s companies owed as of January to 10 Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky counties.
Or reports that Justice or one of his many companies owe millions in unpaid lawsuit judgments or have stiffed vendors.
Not to mention, those pesky subpoenas from federal agencies looking into Justices taxes and ties between state agencies and his businesses.
In this latest statewide embarrassment, it turns out Justice’s companies have failed to even respond to nearly 2,300 citations for mine violations from 2014 to now.
We realize many people take an attitude of indifference or ignorance toward citations, debts and delinquent taxes.
But they are not the state’s governor and none of them certainly will ever  be afforded the luxury of extended negotiations to cut a deal.
Don’t believe us? Don’t try this, but go a couple of months, or longer,  without paying your mortgage, your income taxes, or just forget   those nine moving vehicle violations.
It’s unacceptable the governor and his family have for years not even responded to these mine violations.
After all, he could at least follow the  tried and true routine for some mine operators: Wait until penalties are final then challenge them and appeal.
In other words, seek to negotiate the penalties  and drag out the cases for as long as possible. Sometime those negotiations result in the mine operators paying a lot less on the dollar or buy them time to bolster their bottom lines.
In Justice’s companies’ case, it’s not just a matter of not paying the fines, but not even responding to contest these  Mine Safety and Health Administration citations. MSHA, after several demands in letters, turned the issue over to the Department of the Treasury.
Treasury also sent letters and turned the matter over to debt collectors and its primary debt collection program.
Next up, the Department of Justice is charged with settling this score and sends further letters, to no avail.
Finally, a lawsuit is filed in federal court by the U.S. attorney’s office.
We now wonder if the U.S. attorney wins this case will Justice’s companies pay up then?
Could he shoot someone at the corner of Greenbrier and Virginia streets and not matter?
There’s no need to speculate what this pattern of behavior says about our governor. It’s self-evident.
The question is: What does this say about us?

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