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Eye On Boise

Bunker mine villain now top Tory official

S-R reporter Becky Kramer has a fascinating story today about how the man accused of stripping millions of dollars from health insurance funds for retirees of the Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter in North idaho in the early 1990s has resurfaced as the treasurer of Britain’s Conservative Party.

David John Rowland and another executive allegedly transferred nearly $200 million worth of Bunker Hill assets overseas when Rowland was chief executive officer of Gulf Resources and Chemical Co., Kramer reports. Instead of paying for pensioners’ health insurance and environmental cleanup in Idaho’s Silver Valley, the money went into New Zealand real estate, a British retail chain, a Scottish castle and sunken treasure in the Arabian Sea. Gulf sued Rowland and other officers for reckless investing and fraud. The company was forced into bankruptcy in 1993, leaving taxpayers on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in Superfund cleanup costs. For years afterwards, Rowland stayed out of the public spotlight. But now he’s emerged as a prominent figure in British politics. Read Kramer's full story here at

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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