Michigan AG Cox Holds Polluting Politician John Pastor Accountable

Leading environmental advocacy groups today praised Attorney General Mike Cox for punishing land developer and politician John Pastor after his company destroyed wetlands and polluted public streams.

Pastor, a former state representative, was fined $35,000 and ordered to repair damage to wetlands in Salem Township.

In 2007, the state Department of Environmental Quality sued George H. Pastor & Sons, which Pastor owns, for failing to follow the law when it comes to protecting land, water and wetlands while building a housing development in Salem Township.

“Politician and wealthy land developer John Pastor broke the law, polluted public water and destroyed wetlands, and Attorney General Mike Cox deserves praise for holding Pastor accountable,” said Cyndi Roper, Michigan director for Clean Water Action.

The DEQ’s complaint against Pastor said that his company exercised “gross mismanagement” of his construction sites. According to the DEQ, Pastor failed to follow proper soil erosion and sediment control measures, which allowed sediment-laden water to discharge directly into public waters. He also failed to properly rebuild new wetlands to replace wetlands destroyed by construction, the DEQ said.

“This large fine sends a clear message: Polluting politicians like John Pastor can’t destroy our land, water and air and expect the taxpayers of Michigan to foot the bill,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

“Michigan citizens are tired of lawmakers who are lawbreakers, and Attorney General Mike Cox deserves credit for making John Pastor pay for his pollution."