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Ponderosa Patsy in Pokey


The former technical director of Boise's own Ponderosa Paint was sentenced on March 10 to sit uselessly like an old paint can for five months in prison. Robert Mominee, 38, pled guilty last September in Boise District Court to illegally transporting approximately 20,000 gallons of hazardous waste from Boise to his Nampa home, as well as to a residence in Wilder.

Mominee's conviction comes thanks of former Ponderosa owner Dennis Ellis, a miserly businessman who sold the paint company to Kelly Moore Paints for $14 million in 2000. As part of the sale, Ellis agreed to dispose of thousands of gallons of waste paint. But rather than pay $150,000 to legally dispose of the poisons, Ellis convinced Mominee and fellow Ponderosa stooge Paul Woods to mimic the disposal process for $1 per idiot per gallon. Their interpretation: Burn it in a pit behind Woods' house in Wilder.

The EPA, FBI and Idaho State Police soon caught wind of the toxic smokeout and nabbed the trio before they were able to inflict any serious second-hand paint huffing on the Treasure Valley. Ellis was sentenced in 2004 to pay approximately $90,000 in fines and restitution.