POZSGAI FAMILY BANDS TOGETHER AND OVERCOMES 15 YEARS OF GOVERNMENT ABUSE,
HARASSMENT, AND IMPRISONMENT.
Daughter Victoria Kourey sees her years of effort bring about her father’s vindication!
On October 6th of 2000 the House of Representatives: Committee on Government Reform gathered to investigate civil rights violations by federal agents on Hungarian immigrant/US citizen John Pozgai and his family over the span of 15 years.
Chaired by Dan Burton (R-Indiana and attended by US Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-Idaho), the Reform Committee heard John Pozgai and his daughters Victoria Khoury and Gloria Heater tell of their nightmare with the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers.
What was John Pozgai's crime? In 1987 John Pozgai purchased a neighborhood dump and hauled away thousands of tires and junk, covering the area with clean soil. For this act federal agents ransacked his house.
For this act he was convicted of 40 counts of violating the Clean Water Act and sentenced to three years in federal prison and a $200,000 fine. At that time, it was the longest jail term in history for any environmental crime. Chenoweth-Hage notes: This man worked with his own two hands to clean up a piece of property he owned and spent a year and a half in prison as a result. Exorbitant fines and fees bankrupted him. John Pozsgai is the owner of a piece of land that the federal government says no one may develop and no one will buy. And the American taxpayer is funding this nightmare.
This American Hero, who fought Hungarian Communists, now finds himself battling against our own government to use his own land.
Throughout, John's daughter, Victoria Khoury has used her talent, energy, and contacts in a tireless effort to clear her father's name. We thank her for bringing her story to
John Pozsgai's ride from businessman and devoted father to convicted felon has been a roller coaster.
June 1987: Truck repair shop owner John Pozsgai buys property on West Bridge Street to build a garage and expand his small business.
March 1988:Pozsgai is arrested on 12 citations from everything from refusing to allow inspectors on his property to selling firewood without a business license.
July 1988: U.S. Attorney's Office investigates charges of illegal dumping and destroying federally protected wetlands. A neighbor working for the EPA videotapes him.
Dec 1988:Pozsgai is found guilty on 40 counts of violating the Clean Water Act by filling in 5 acres of "wetlands". He is fined $202,000 and sentenced to up to three years in prison, the longest jail term in history for any environmental crime.
1989: Pozsgai becomes a victim of environmental extremism. Morrisville Council considers passing a resolution calling for a presidential pardon of Pozsgai.
July 1990: Pozsgai appeals his case to the US Supreme Court.
July 1990: Filing a brief for the government against Pozsgai is then-Solicitor General Kenneth Starr.
Oct 1990:Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal.
November 1990: On day after Thanksgiving, Pozsgai begins serving his sentence at Allenwood Federal Prison in Pa.
June 1991: After six months in prison, he is transferred to a halfway house in Philadelphia as part of work-release program.
September 1991: Landowners collect 10,000 signatures and ask President Bush to pardon Pozsgai.
December 1991: Fine is reduced from $202,000 to $5,000
January 1992 to Present: Victoria Khoury and her sister Gloria Heater continue to write and speak out on behalf of their father. Victoria uses her talents and background to fight on behalf of others victimized as well by government agencies. She is invited to speak throughout the country.
April 1996: Pozsgai wins Champion of Liberty Award from Pennsylvania Libertarian Party.
October 2000: Pozsgai family is invited to address the Congressional Committee on Government Reform.
On the Pozsgai team is the Washington Legal Foundation, a national non-profit public interest law and policy center based in Washington D.C. Paul Kamenar Senior Executive Council of the foundation also testified on behalf of John Pozsgai. He noted: "In the first place, the Clean Water Act does not even define "wetlands". Therefore, legally, federal authorities must prove that the "wetland" in question is adjacent to a waterway used in interstate commerce, a key element of jurisdiction missing in the Pozsgai case."
For more information, or if you would like to offer any support on behalf of the Pozsgais contact:
Victoria Khoury tel: 631 667 3252 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
| CONTACT | STORIES