Jeff Almer

Jeff Almer

“I’d rather see the guy go to jail [than get any money].”
 
That was the quote from Marshall Tousignant of Brainerd, Minn., one of the heirs of Korean War hero Clifford Tousignant, a victim of the nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2008 and 2009 that sickened 714 people and killed 9.
 
The guy he wanted jailed was Stewart Parnell, the former CEO of now defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), the Virginia company allegedly responsible for shipping millions of contaminated peanuts nationwide.
 
Though the feds have been investigating Parnell’s company for years, and though the victims’ families shared a $12 million settlement last year, criminal charges have yet to be brought against Parnell.
 
Investigators uncovered internal emails showing Parnell complaining that food contagion tests were “costing us huge $$$$$,” but Parnell took the Fifth at a February, 2009, congressional hearing.
 
Not so Lou Tousignant, another of the victim’s six children. “My father was a good man,” he testified. “He fought for his country. He died because he ate peanut butter.”
 
On Friday, Lou Tousignant is scheduled will speak at an American University conference calling for criminal charges against Parnell.
 
Joining Tousignant will be Jeff Almer, whose mother, Shirley Mae Almer, also died less than two weeks after eating King Nut peanut butter containing PCA ingredients. Jeff Almer has been pressing for stricter food safety laws ever since, a campaign that paid off last year with tougher new provisions backed by Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota.
 
Both senators also are backing a bill providing tougher criminal penalties against individuals and corporations who knowingly violate food safety standards. "They should face stiff consequences and be held accountable,” Klobuchar said. 

 

The elders Almer, 72, and Tousignant, 78, were among three Minnesotans who died after eating peanut butter at the Good Samaritan Homes in Breinerd. The third was Doris Flatgard, 87.
 
As for any criminal charges in the case, Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday “we have no comment.”

Older Post

Hearing set on bill that targets young violent offenders

Newer Post

Ex chief of staff says Bachmann not 'ready' to be president