Onearth Jack Spadaro became a whistleblower trying to protect the public from mining disasters. For his trouble, he was forced out of his job at the US Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). In Martin County, Kentucky, in 2000, a 300 million gallon slurry pond dam collapsed, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in US history. That toxic spill was 20 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which generated a lot of press coverage. When he investigated, he found that Massey Coal, the owner, had known for 10 years that the dam was going to break.
Does $100,000 from Massey Energy to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, headed by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell ring a bell. How about a toxic cover up?
Onearth Jack Spadaro attempted to charge Massey Coal with criminal negligence. But his boss, Elaine Chao, happens to be the wife of Mitch McConnell, Kentucky's senior senator. Massey had donated $100,000 to McConnell's reelection campaign. Spadaro found the lock on his office door changed and he was placed on administrative leave.