For Immediate Release

September 9, 2009

Contact: Chad Kister: or (740) 753-3888 or

Coal Mine Proponent Pleads Guilty to Threatening Author, Coal Critic

A proponent of a 200+ acre strip mine in Athens County was found guilty Tuesday of threatening Environmental Author and Organizer Chad Kister, with three death threats and several harassing calls. Kister is no stranger to attacks by the coal industry. He has been beaten nearly to death on two occasions, along with a litany of other abuses, including being assaulted by coal mine owner Robert Murray. Murray was charged by the City of Columbus and the State of Ohio for assaulting Kister in 2000.

William Frank Theisen was fined $100, and given a suspended 30-day jail sentence on conditions that he have no contact with Kister. "The Court should have issued a stronger sentence, particularly with the violent nature of the threats, and the long criminal history of the coal industry thug," Kister said. "Also, I was never contacted by the court for my input about the sentence."

"There is a war going on down here," Kister said. "Environmentalists are getting assaulted and their property is being vandalized by coal industry thugs. This shows yet another reason why we need to rapidly shift to clean, renewable solar and wind power. I have never heard of a solar or wind company owner assaulting anyone."

Assaults on environmentalists by the coal industry, however, is well documented. Granny B wrote about how walkers focusing on mountaintop removal devastation were brutally assaulted in West Virginia, but the police did absolutely nothing about it. This was despite clear documentation.

"I want to commend Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly, and Lieutenant Anthony Maynard for their willingness to press charges, despite the power of the coal industry in our region," Kister said.

William Frank Theisen is the son of former Athens County Commissioner Bill Theisen, who is the main backer of the strip mine proposed for east Athens County.

"There are more jobs in Athens County in the solar and wind energy sector than there are in the coal industry," Kister said.