"When you say to us, that we will negotiate with the coal companies or not receive any money through the fiscal court, I think that is paramount to criminal coercion," Hall said of Grieshop's actions. He said he plans to talk to the state prosecutor about it. City officials oppose coal companies' plan to strip-mine mountains above the town, population 900.
Hall told Eld that Grieshop's "response on the fiscal court's original pledge to help with the match was that there were certain concessions he wanted. He told me that Lynch would have to go back into negotiations with the coal operators on mountain top removal and make concessions or there will be no funds."
Greishop essentially acknowledged what Hall alleged, thought it is open to interpretation. "Asking the city to sit-down with the coal company across from the table and negotiate on the issues is not criminal coercion," Grieshop told Eld. "I simply said that if you are not going to work with the coal companies and that's the source of money to help you. How do you expect the fiscal court to help you?"
Grieshop added, "I just told them that the coal companies are where the money comes from. If you're not willing to work with them and you're anti-coal, then the fiscal court members are not going to support you. They have already stated that. They don't feel comfortable helping out cities with coal monies, when the city is not trying to work with the coal company." (Read more)