Glenwood City (WQOW) - Plans for a frac sand mine in Glenwood City are still on despite a mining company owner being sentenced in a sexual assault case.
Roger Sikes was one of several owners of Vista Sand, a company that has been working on putting a frac sand mine in Glenwood City. On June 30th he was found guilty by a Texas jury on one count of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. Both incidents occurred in 2010 and involved a fourteen year old girl. Sikes was sentenced to four years in a state prison.
We spoke with Glenwood City Mayor John Larson Wednesday. He called the situation involving Sikes an unfortunate incident. He also said he sees it as a public relations setback.
Mayor Larson says he met with other co-owners of Vista Sand less than a week ago. The owners say Sikes is no longer with vista sand. At this time, land for the mine near the city's school has been annexed by Glenwood City. Mayor Larson says there has been a new person appointed to be the face of Vista Sand moving forward.
Mayor Larson says the agreement with Vista Sand has not changed. He says he does not anticipate work on the mine to begin until next spring.
We also reached out to Vista Sand's attorney Wednesday. He gave us a statement from Vista Sands which reads…
"RJ Sikes is on permanent leave from vista sand as a result of issues in his personal life. Vista sand is moving forward and as a result, RJ Sikes no longer has any decision making role or authority with Vista Sand."
The mine has been a hot issue in Glenwood City, where the mayor even faced a recall vote.
The entire Vista Sand release is below:
Vista Sands Statement:
RJ Sikes is on permanent leave from vista sand as a result of issues in his personal life. The circumstances surrounding his departure remain personal and have always been separate from and outside the scope of his employment with the company. Vista Sand is moving forward and as a result, RJ Sikes no longer has any decision-making role or authority with vista sand.
The remaining ownership and senior management members are still committed to creating community partnerships, and providing long-term jobs through responsible, environmentally-sound mining.