Troubles at Laidlaw, however, continued to dog DeGroote even after heleft. In August 1992, Laidlaw denied all charges but agreed to pay US andCanadian shareholders $7.65 million in a class action settlement whichclaimed that the officers had "misrepresented the financial condition ofLaidlaw."3In 1993, DeGroote and associates paid $23 million to the Ontario SecuritiesCommission in a settlement for insider trading involving Laidlaw stock. 4
In the meanwhile, Degroote busied himself building a new waste empire.In 1991, DeGroote took over Republic Waste from Browning Ferris Industriesfounder Tom Fatjo.5In 1995 DeGroote gave up control of Republic to Waste Management Inc. founderWayne Huizenga. However, DeGroote is still one of Republic's largest shareholdersand is Vice-Chairman.6
Rollins Environmental ServicesBusiness Week ranked Rollins Environmental's board of directors asone of the worst. Business Week said of these companies. "The companiestended to fail the tests of independence or accountability."26Rollins has been cited for more than 100 violations, both state and federal,but has not paid any penalties.27And in 1989,"Rollins was fined $ 1.9 million for its involvement in illegalshipments of hazardous ash; this year, after running eighteen years onvarious temporary permits, it received a final operating license."28
Allied Waste SystemsAllied's Chief Executive Officer, Roger Ramsey, was the Vice Presidentand Chief Financial Officer for BFI from 1968 to 1976. In 1983, BFI pleadedno contest to charges of price-fixing and conspiracy in Atlanta from 1974to 1979. Allied Waste Industry, Inc.'s Fort Mill transfer station was issueda consent order in response to charges of leakage and operational problemsthat affected the environment. Container Corp., a South Carolina subsidiaryof Allied that was responsible for the Fort Mill transfer station, paida $55,000 fine and the station was closed.
Organizing Tip-For all intents and purposes, Laidlaw's trackrecord is still relevant since the same management will be probably beoperating the facilities. Ask them, in public, for the background and experienceof the management for your local facility. Formore on strategy and organizing see our Strategy Guide.
References1 "Pricing Surfaces on LaidlawFund Tranches," Institutional Investor, Bank Letter, March 10, 1997.2 "Allied Waste Announces Completionof Shareholder Transactions Closes Senior Discount Note Offering," PR Newswire,May 15, 1997, "Drexel to Pay $650 million in Guity Plea," Chicago Tribune,December 22, 1988.3 "Class Action Suits Lure Shareholders:But Laidlaw case shows it's not easy money," Eric Reguly, Financial Post,September 30, 1993.4 "Cragnotti pays $ 2.67 million,"Tony van Alphen, Toronto Star, April 29, 1993.5 "Fatjo and Hall Return to WasteManagement Business with ENVIRx," Integrated Waste Management, July 22,1992.6 "Odd Union Intrigues Wall St.;Waste Manager Joins with Insurer," Terrence L. Johnson; and Stephen Phillips,The Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 26, 1996.7 "Attwoods PLC - BFI Offer Extended,etc," Extel Financial Limited, Regulatory News Service, November 4, 1994,"Laidlaw expands hazardous waste business with purchase of Union Pacific[sic]" The Ottawa Citizen, December 7, 1994.8 "Waste Plant Fined $10,000 AfterLime Leak," Rob Moritz; The Nashville Banner, October 31, 1995.9 "Law Laid Down for Laidlaw,"Louisiana Industry Environmental Advisor April, 1994.10 "Laidlaw Hammered by DEQ,"Louisiana Environmental Compliance Update, March, 1994.11 "EPA Targets Waste-BurningViolators For Penalties," Reuters, November 15, 1994; "EPA Cites MonsantoFor Hazardous Waste Violation; Seeks $555,900 Fine," PR Newswire, November16, 1994.12 "Laidlaw: No Collusion," APOnline, December 13, 1994.13 "EPA Fines Two South CarolinaIncinerators," South Carolina Environmental Compliance Update, March, 1994.14 "EPA Announces Hazardous WasteCombustion Enforcement Iniative," Arnall Golden & Gregory; GeorgiaEnvironmental Law Letter, October, 1993.15 "Sewer District Annexes Laidlaw,"Shelly Haskins; Spartanburg Herald-Journal, July 11, 1996.16 "SCDHEC Issues Twenty-ThreeConsent Orders," Haynsworth, Marion, McKay & Guerard, L.L.P.; SouthCarolina Environmental Compliance Update, April, 1993.17 South Carolina EnvironmentalCompliance Update, November, 1993.18 "SCDHEC Board Order RequiringTrust Fund and Limiting Capacity Survives Two Preliminary Challenges,"Haynsworth, Marion, McKay & Guerard, L.L.P.; South Carolina EnvironmentalCompliance Update, August, 1994.19 "DHEC Levies $214,000 LandfillFine," The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.) August 21, 1996 Wednesday.20 "Don't Let Industry Hide Audits,"William Want, Special to The Herald; The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.) May 11,1996 Saturday.21 "Laidlaw fined $94,000, "Financial Post, March 24, 1993.22"$10,000 Fine For Laidlaw DecriedAs 'Pro-Polluter'," Alexander Norris, The Gazette; CP The Gazette (Montreal),September 17, 1996.23 "Company Hired To Sniff OutOdors Near Hilliard School," Jeff Ortega; The Columbus Dispatch, December21, 1996.24 "School Principal Hoping NewSewage Building Will Clear Air," Randall Edwards; The Columbus Dispatch,September 15, 1996"25 Laidlaw-A Corporate Profile,CCHW, 703-237-224.26 "Campbell Board Best, ADMWorst," Reuters, November 14, 1996.27 "Mrs. Robinson's neighborhood,environmental activist Florence Robinson;" The Sierra Club Bulletin, July,1996.28 "Up in smoke; Clean Air Actamendments," The Nation, October 23, 1989.