Monday, June 24, 2013

Rollins Family's Mega Bucks Buy Southern Clout That Can Make A Proposed Highway Change Course

Rollins Ranch Cartersville
Anyone who doubts that one of the South's wealthiest families could manipulate the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case in Shelby County, Alabama, should consider recent transportation news out of Georgia.

The Rollins clan, from its twin bases in Atlanta and Delaware, has made billions from Orkin Pest Control, Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment, Rollins Jamaica Ltd, and associated enterprises. For roughly three decades, the family has been fighting the proposed route for a highway between Atlanta and Rome, Georgia. Based on recent news reports, it looks like Rollins clout will seize the day.

That means this family has enough clout to make a highway change its course. Is there any doubt that the family is capable of manipulating a court case so that Ted Rollins could launch a monstrous cheat job on his ex wife, Birmingham resident Sherry Carroll Rollins, and their two daughters, Sarah and Emma. Probably with the help of his Alabama-based corporate law firm, Bradley Arant, Ted Rollins somehow managed to receive an unlawful divorce judgment that has left Ms. Rollins and the couple's daughters on and off food stamps for several years.  

Officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) know what it's like to get into a battle of legal hardball with the Rollins family. DOT officials have said for years that the best route for the U.S. 411 connector would pass through the Rollins family's 1,800-acre ranch near Cartersville, Georgia. From a 2010 news report on the controversy:

At issue is a struggle between a family with deep pockets and philanthropic ties to the community — Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health honors the family’s contributions — and a state agency with the power to condemn even wealthy citizens’ land if it serves a public purpose. 
Georgia Department of Transportation officials say they have chosen the right route for the project after thorough financial, traffic and environmental studies involving extensive public input. 
“I believe that’s the most engineered, studied piece of land in the state of Georgia,” said David Doss, who represents Rome and Cartersville on the State Transportation Board. “The process has been followed to the letter of the law.”

But a new report, dated June 14, 2013, says the Rollins family likely will get the highway route that it prefers, one that bypasses its property:

The Rollins family did just about everything it could do to block a new road linking Interstate 75 to Rome and running just south of the family's vacation home and prized fishing lake. 
And on Thursday the effort by the prominent Georgia clan -- which was joined by environmentalists and other nearby residents -- appeared to pay off. Gov. Nathan Deal told Rome lawmakers that building the road through Rollins' land would be tremendously costly and that the state will explore alternatives. 
He also vented at the Rollins' monumental efforts, which he said were "employed to delay and ultimately divert the course of the project." 
The final decision is up to the Georgia Department of Transportation, which said it is still evaluating options. But Deal's comments mean the direct route to I-75 that Rome and its 100,000 residents have long sought is mired in deeper uncertainty.

The bottom line? The general public probably will have to travel an indirect route so that the Rollins family can get its way. From the recent report:

The land would probably already have a road running through it if it were owned by anybody else. But the Rollins clan, which controls a multibillion-dollar pest control business that includes Orkin, has waged one of the most aggressive road-blocking campaigns in state history. 
The family hired lawyers, strategists, engineers and scientists who lobbied to prevent highway construction on the land. Biologists contended it would endanger rare birds and wildlife. Engineers harped on potential design flaws. Attorneys persuaded officials to turn a chunk of the property into a state-recognized wilderness. And preservationists convinced the federal government to declare a nearby mine as a historic landscape called Dobbins Mountain Mining Landscape. 
The latter was a key development. Deal's letter came after the Federal Highway Administration concluded that any road built near the abandoned manganese mine, which dates to the 1860s, would have an "adverse effect" on the site and urged engineers to show whether there's a better alternative.

Published reports indicate the Rollins family leans heavily Republican, with little interest in environmental or preservation issues. But it probably will take advantage of an abandoned manganese mine to win a 30-year battle over a highway project. Along the way, attorneys for the Rollins clan helped get an area planned for the GDOT route declared a wildlife refuge.

It's enough to make you think these folks are left-wing enviros. But that hardly is the case. One of their many business interests, via a company called RPC Inc. (formerly Rollins Energy Services), is hydraulic fracturing, better known as "fracking." In fact, RPC was among several energy firms, including Halliburton Co., that apparently violated U.S. law by using fracking fluids that included diesel fuel without a permit. From a 2011 Fox News report:

The largest users of fluid containing diesel fuel cited by the lawmakers were BJ Services, Halliburton, RPC, Inc. (RES), and Sanjel Corporation. Those companies did not respond to requests for comment. 
The Safe Drinking Water Act requires "fracking" companies to obtain water-quality permits when they are injecting fluids underground, but the lawmakers said that EPA has issued no permits authorizing the use of diesel fuel in those wells. No companies have applied for such permits, they said.

If the Rollinses aren't enviros, what are they? Well, they certainly are big-time landowners. They have a Web site devoted to their ranches throughout the South. Here is the Web page for Rollins Ranch Cartersville, which is at the heart of the highway controversy. The family also has massive ranches near Okeechobee, Florida (2); Voor Jaar, Florida; Griffith, Florida; Ringgold, Georgia; and Lagarto, Texas.

According to Sherry Rollins, the Rollins family is the second largest land owner in the South, behind only Ted Turner.

Is it any wonder that Ms. Rollins and her daughters got cheated in an Alabama divorce case against Ted Rollins and his family's massive treasure chest. Compared to making a highway move, that divorce cheat job must have been a piece of cake for the family that is supposed to keep your home safe from roaches. 


Anonymous said...

This is great reporting! Folks should now begin to get the picture!

Anonymous said...

Living in another part of the country, I had not heard about this Rollins-related controversy. But it's a fascinating example of the influence that money can buy. Thanks for educating me.

Anonymous said...

Here is the "money quote" . . .

"The land would probably already have a road running through it if it were owned by anybody else."

That sums it up.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you on this one, Schnauzer: If the Rollins family can bully the Georgia Dept of Transportation, no wonder they found it easy to bully Sherry Rollins before Judge Al Crowson.

Anonymous said...

I must admit, if I had a gorgeous ranch like that, I wouldn't want a highway going through it either. And if I had the money, I would fight like hell to stop it.

Marky said...

Maybe Ted Rollins had to cheat the ex wife so he could save his pennies for the family's highway battle.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the stopping the DOT.

The DOT was and is an agenda to take as much land as possible, from every direction possible.

The Rollins family get to do the right thing, too bad all families aren't honored in the US Constitution as are Rollins that have done the best poisoning job we could hope to imagine.

DOT shouldn't do what has been done to America, we have the industry of a gigantic flop when we think about 'sustainable'.

But, the families such as Rollins actually fuel the DOT or how else can the job of poisons get done without the transportation.

The family Rollins are into the chemicals in our skies, bet they have a contract out on US, and the DOT is always involved in one way or another.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many head of cattle the Rollins family has on all of these ranches. They must be big-time into the beef business.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the Rollins family on this one. Screw the highway department. I'll take the lake and the wilderness.

Unknown said...

OCCUPY Barbara Bratton gets jail, Bonnie Wyatt has set a new standard?!

Anonymous said...

The Rollins family is involved in fracking? Sweet Jesus!

legalschnauzer said...

Oh, yes, they are big-time frackers. More coming on that story.

Sharon said...

I can understand the Rollins family wanting to protect their land. But this article makes their treatment of Sherry Rollins look even worse. A family with this kind of financial clout should have had no problem reaching a reasonable settlement with her.

Anonymous said...

FRACKING, but of course the so called human family Rollins is into whatever can do the most harm for the biggest pay.

How the murdering criminals figure out how to keep control in the digital gulag for the fracker crackers and others!

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Anonymous said...

Is it safe to assume that the Rollins family wants fracking on other people's land but not on theirs?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 1:39--

I think you are making a safe assumption. It would be interesting if massive reserves of natural gas were found to exist on Rollins Ranches.

Anonymous said...

The philanthropic efforts referred to in the article you quoted....the rich and powerful have always donated money to public corporations and institutions for the positive feedback and publicity bump they can garner for themselves and their corporations. This is done so that the AP wires pick it up and the world starts to believe in their staged reputations after awhile. when all the time they are quietly seizing every moment and opportunity to make their billions any way they can;up to and including fracking with diesel,,spraying poisons which lead to cancer and death just so they can rake in more of the poor's hard earned dollars.

iT is mind control and manipulation in the worst form. I imagine they use the same tactics of impression over their early courting of their spousal choices...impress them with kind acts and wow them from time to time while the other hand is working evil and doing just what they want and need for their own selfish desires in the background.

Anonymous said...

I remember my grandparents owned acres of beautiful land in the Deep South. The gas pipeline companies army marched through the rural areas and forced each landowner to give up acre after acre for their selfish choices it was the law......our grandparents gave up their land rights for the small sum of .$2,000 dollars.

Robby Scott Hill said...

And remember, don't do what those young boys did several years ago and go 4 wheeling/off-roading across the Rollins land or you'll get a baseball bat upside your head. Don't fuck with Nathan Deal by god. His son the judge can issue statewide wiretap orders. Don't get you a lawyer from another state either or try to move a case out of Georgia. He'll get your lawyer disbarred, unless your last name is Rollins.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 5:03--

Your comment reminds me of the property owners in Arkansas who had crude oil leaked onto their lawns from a pipeline that many of them did not even know was there. BP, or whoever, will fight like hell to make sure those middle-class folks get as little as possible in the way of compensation.

legalschnauzer said...


Some kids went 4-wheeling on Rollins property? I don't recall hearing about that story. It might be hard to do anything in Georgia or Florida without getting on or near Rollins property. Their holdings are huge, but Sherry Rollins gets $500 a month in alimony

Anonymous said...

$500 in monthly alimony-that is just wrong!! Is there anything about Ms. Sherry's side of this that we are unaware of?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 5:46 a.m.--

Well, I'm still reporting on the story--it's a long way from being complete--if that's what you mean.

e.a.f. said...

Of course they don't want a highway through their property. It might pollute their land. When all the land they have polluted is no longer safe for life to live on, the 1%ers will want some where to live in "harmony with nature". That is why they want to protect their land.

The Rollins don't want air pollution from exhaust near their land, nor oil spills or chemical spills. They want a pristine area to enjoy. Let the rest of society live with the pollution, but not them. Their sense of entitlement is beyond measure. They use "poisons" for their Orkin business, they frack. In short they are busy destroying the rest of American's enviornment, but they want to keep theirs pristine.

Put the highway where it is the shortest route. At least people will save on gas and therefore there will be less air pollution in general.

legalschnauzer said...


You absolutely nailed it with this:

"They use "poisons" for their Orkin business, they frack. In short they are busy destroying the rest of American's environment, but they want to keep theirs pristine."

Anonymous said...

E.A.F. ET AL ~~

NO, NO, NO MORE highways, enough already. Have to agree on the BIG NO for highways.

Trillions of dollars wasted in a phoney global war on terror when we could have upgraded our transportation in USA to what should be: LIKE JAPAN & CHINA, that supposedly are third world compared to US.

THEIRS' PRISTINE. Yes they are smart enough to have gotten that the FRAMERS of the US Constitution were enlightened about PROPERTY RIGHTS being the/a primary truth in LIBERTY.

FRACKERS NOT FARMERS and this is not what was intended. Rollins are not poor farmers’ that don’t want to pay their taxes AND this is what we were in the beginning and interesting in the end of this EMPIRE’S FRACKING AND POISONING OUR LIFE-LIBERTIES-PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS we get broke, too broke to put Rollins’ where they truly belong.

The properties they've stolen in their unlawfulness should be given to the whole of Alabamians for the COMMUNITY and not mistaken with COMMUNITARIANISM which is "Campus Crest" in a real time gulag.

ANY & ALL POISONS used on our environment need to be fined to the point of NO more criminal insanity for the GLOBALIZATION brought to us via CLINTONS and of course their direct relative WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER, who fancied himself a 'Southern Gentleman'.

The poor South has been truly used as a test of how much scum can be harvested to cause terrible fungus diseases called Ted Rollins' clan.

Robby Scott Hill said...

Was actually a 4 wheel drive truck. I mentioned it maybe two years ago in a comment.

Anonymous said...

RE: 4 Wheel Drive Truck: 6-26-13 6 AM.

Trespassing is Trespassing-If a person wants to 4 wheel in a truck, ATV, whatever, then do it on your own property-not someone else's. That is inexcusable!

Anonymous said...

Paula deen uses the N word and gets fired and loses contracts and mega deals. teds boy Brian sharpe does the same thing and gets a company tesla to drive. what gives