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.