Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
A Nebraska company with questionable political ties to Attorney General Jon Bruning is, once again, in trouble with the federal government.
Adams Land and Cattle Company, one of the largest cattle feeders in the country, has been fined $229,000 for, among other things, hiring Mexican workers over U.S. workers at its facility in Broken Bow.
According to the Department of Labor, Adams violated a foreign worker program with the “unlawful rejection of U.S. applicant(s)” while employing “Mexican nationals.”
Two years ago the EPA ordered Adams to pay $145,000 for repeated violations of the Clean Air Act.
Those fines followed an exclusive investigation by Nebraska Watchdog which found campaign contributions to Bruning from two top executives at Adams—contributions that dovetailed with an $11,000 out of court settlement between Bruning and Adams.
The settlement centered on a 5.6 million gallon discharge of feces and urine into a Custer County creek, while ignoring four other pollution cases which carried an additional $50,000 in fines.
Adams executives denied any links between the state settlement and the contributions to Bruning.
In 2011, while making an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate, Bruning refused to talk to Nebraska Watchdog (see video below) about his handling of the case.
As for the dispute with the Labor Department the company downplays any wrongdoing.
“This program is incredibly complex, and we made every effort to comply with applicable requirements,” the company said in a statement to the Lincoln Journal Star. “Despite our best-faith efforts to comply, the Department of Labor alleged that the demanding standards of the program were not fully satisfied. Although we do not agree with this assessment, we reached an agreement with the Department of Labor several months ago and ceased our participation in this program over a year ago.”
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