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Corrupt in Oregon

Stone Cold Busted! Richard Becerra and Ray Udey, who both worked in the Hood River area; David Glerup, who worked in Burns; and Tom Butler, who worked in Astoria are the 4 Oregon transportation workers have left their jobs in the wake of a kickback investigation, and dozens more are being questioned, state officials acknowledged Monday.
An ODOT spokesperson said, "Stone Cold Chemicals cold-called government entities to sell cleaning and office products at inflated prices and then offered gratuities of 8 (percent) to 10 percent of the total chemical purchases,"

ODOT also said, "We became aware of it in the fall of 2003 and started looking at our records, and then informed Oregon State Police that we thought there might be something going on,"

Stone Cold Chemicals has been the target of numerous bribery investigations across the country since 2002. Employees in other states accepted gifts such as certificates to Hooters restaurants, a bass fishing boat and an autographed Brett Favre football.

The estimated value of the Oregon gifts topped out at several thousand dollars apiece for three employees and $400 for one employee from 1996 to 2003. One of the gifts included certificates to Cabela's, a popular sporting goods catalog.

In July, two Florida state employees were sentenced to two years' probation for accepting gifts in exchange for purchasing cleaning products. For example, towels that cost Stone Cold $9 were sold for $119.

In March, 21 people were charged in Georgia's Walton County with accepting kickbacks from Stone Cold that included restaurant gift certificates, sports memorabilia and other items.

The Miami Herald reported in September 2003 that sales staff for the company, which at one point had $4 million in annual sales, would cold-call purchasing officers at jails, police stations and even privately owned animal shelters.

They would strike up friendly conversations to find out the employees' hobbies and needs. Then the telemarketers offered the workers gift certificates in return for buying products such as Hand Jive Sanitizer or Dew-Wa-Diddy Mildew Stain Remover.

The incentives, called premiums, were worth 10 percent of the purchase price.

Governor "K" said the usual I'm not talking about something during an investigation line.
is this unlawful? 14.Dec.2004 12:12

billy bob

is this unlawful?

Fact checkin' 14.Dec.2004 14:22

regular reader

What an interesting story, I thought, when I clicked on this one this morning. I wanted to see if I could find some corroboration for it, so I started googling and clicking away.

I found nothing about this story in any Oregon press, but newspapers across the country have indeed documented the shananigans of Stone Cold Chemicals and gov't employees in other places, namely Florida and Georgia, with allegations that the fraud has occured in 48 states.
(source:  link to www.idiganswers.com )
So it's definitely for real that Stone Cold Chemicals has been involved in this kind of thing elsewhere.

Then I searched to see if I could find evidence of the 4 ODOT employees. The State has a database for looking up state employees:
 http://www.state.or.us/cgi-bin/employee.html.
Only Glerup showed up in this. So, were the let-go employees already removed from the database? Maybe, but gov't bureaucracies don't usually move that fast. But, you can also download a PDF of the state directory at
 http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/IRMD/OPS/docs/pd/phonebook2004.pdf
(which I saved to my own computer), and in there I found Richard Becerra and Ray Udey. A call was placed to Ray's number; the person who answered said he "no longer works there", with a tinge of touchiness in her voice.

Tom Butler is also the name of a state representative in Oregon ( http://www.butlert.com/), which is obviously someone else, and neither the online database nor the PDF directory had that name.

So, that's what I found with about an hour of searching. I didn't call ODOT; that would be a good next step. To get them to confirm/deny this story.

Stone Cold 22.Feb.2006 06:48

xxx

they got 'em in North Carolina too...2.21.06