John Miller, appeared in the "Over a Barrel" story arc. He was portrayed by Brian Reddy.
Mr. John Miller, is the owner of "Miller's Hauling Co." a company that specializes in the recycling and disposing of garbage, chemicals and toxic waste. On June 7, 1988 (five years prior to the story) he hauled away 12 barrels of used up Tetrachloroethylene (Perc) from a drying cleaning company known as "French Garment Cleaners". However, to save a lot of money and time, he illegally dumped the buried partially emptied barrels in a nearby empty and vacant lot.
Then five years later, in 1993 he made a generous donation of $1000 to support a children's home. The people of the Fort Green community loved him, they had nominated him for citizen of the year. Also, during this time the lot where he had emptied those perc barrels had become the Fort Greene Community Garden. The barrels were beginning to leak contaminating the soil. Along with the vegetables and flowers grown in the soil, and polluting the air in the garden.
Many of the people in the community, who had either visited the garden or ate food grown from the garden got sick. The people experienced headaches, dizziness, fainting and severe nausea. Also among these people Gaby Fernandez got very sick too, and the Ghostwriter Team soon discovered the barrels buried in the soil. Then soon Officer Cole. from the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) begun an investigation and strongly suspected him.
Then soon with Ghostwriter's help, the team found out the barrels were produced by ECO-SAFE CHEMICALS CO. The CEO Ralph Dugan was able to identify who bought the barrels by the lot numbers. The company who bought them was the dry cleaning company "French Garment Cleaners". Then with Ghostwriter's help, the team found out his company hauled away the barrels.
Tina and Alex went to his company to interview him. Then when they got there, they could hear him screaming to another person on the phone. He was saying that Officer Cole was on his back and that a paper shredder from "MOBILE SHREDDING CORP" would be there on Saturday. Also, to get him the invoices to him matter what it took, so he had someone break into "French Garment Cleaners" to steal them for him.
Tina and Alex, pretended they were from a school paper and interviewed him. He answered questions explaining everything his business did. But he seemed nervous when asked what they ask about how they disposed of toxic waste. He proudly told them on the upcoming Sunday, he was getting an award for citizen of the year at Zora Neale Hurston Middle School. Then when a school class showed up to have pictures taken with him, Tina and Alex ran off.
Then on the following Saturday, Tina borrowed a video camera from school. Then she and Alex hid close by and videotaped him shredding evidence. He saw them and ran after him demanding to be given the videotape. But he lost them, and he thought since he shredded all the invoices up that he was going to get away with it.
Then the next day (Sunday), News reporter Fannie Mae Banner came with the Ghostwriter Team, and Officer Cole tracked him down at Hurston School. They now had proof from the owner of French Garment Cleaners. The owner thought he was properly disposing of the used up Perc. Therefore, he was more then willing to help expose him. So the owner gave his own records to Officer Cole, and Tina gave her the videotape.
Then he was seen ending his speech, to thank everyone for the honor of being made citizen of the year. Then Fannie Mae Banner exposed him on live television. This humiliated and embarrassed him. Also Officer Cole arrested him for reckless endangerment of the public health, safety and environment. He tried denying it and he tried to remind the people in the audience about how much good he had already done for the community.
Then suddenly the Ghostwriter Team, along with most of the people in the audience put up their protesting picket signs. The signs explained to him the horrible things that his barrels had done. Then they kept chanting to him "Barrels out now!". Also he was convinced by Fannie Mae Banner, that the people of his community would go a lot easier on him, if he didn't wait until he was given a court order. So he admitted it and he agreed to remove the barrels right away. When he was escorted out by Officer Cole, he whined that the lot was not even a garden when he dumped the barrels and they all booed at him.