Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Fine Mess

Martha Mendoza and Christopher Sullivan of the Associated Press have written an impressive investigative story on how the federal government often fails to collect multi-million-dollar fines against people and companies that have broken the law or regulations. Mendoza and Sullivan used FOIA requests to determine that the amount of unpaid fines has soared in the last decade to more than $35 billion because they are often waived or reduced, or because the government loses track of them. Sullivan and Mendoza give great examples of the companies who never paid their full fines such as the pipeline company whose gasoline spill and explosion killed three people and the nuclear labs that exposed workers to radiation.


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