"Gulf also attempted a hostile takeover of an Australian mining company which would have taken even more money away from the clean-up."
Former Idaho Gov. Cecil D. Andrus was concerned at the time, and still believes today, that Gulf Resources intentionally took money out of the company - by one claim Rowland pocketed $100 million himself - to make sure the money couldn't find its way into the Silver Valley clean up.
"I think the scoundrels looted the company," Andrus said recently.
Katherine Aiken, the distinguished and scholarly dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Idaho, is the historical authority on the Silver Valley. Her history of the Bunker Hill - Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1981 - is required reading for anyone wanting to understand the history and importance of the area.
Dr. Aiken told the Daily Mail: "When Mr. Rowland left Gulf Resources, the money was gone, which is why so many people went to court to try to get some back. People in (Silver Valley) bars curse when David Rowland's name is mentioned. Gulf Resources was the villain here."
Rowland denies he or Gulf Resources did anything wrong. They'll never buy that line in Kellogg or Smelterville.
Perhaps it is true that money can't buy happiness, but in large enough bundles money can buy a way out of costly troubles and into political connections.
For David Rowland who, anyway you slice it, left a lot of unfinished business in northern Idaho, three million pounds contributed to the British Conservative Party can obviously buy, if not happiness, at least a selective memory regarding his business dealings 20-plus years ago in a place called the Silver Valley.
Rowland's net worth is estimated at $730 million pounds. Even ten percent of that would go a long way in the Valley.