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To the Editor:
This letter is in response to the April 28, 2011, edition of the Free Press Standard.  I noted on the front page the Governor of the great State of Ohio met with some representatives of Chesapeake Energy and with some representatives of Carroll County.  What took me as odd was further down in the article, Commissioner Doyle Hawk “expressed his appreciation to Chesapeake for the gravel that was donated to the Carroll County Volunteer Fire Department and the Golden Age Retreat”.  This act in and of itself was not the point that peaked my interest, but again further down the article, the County Commissioners approved a right of way permit for Chesapeake Energy to construct a driveway in Center Township, off of Antiqua Road. 

So my question, was the approval for the right of way for Chesapeake Energy before or after the county received the donation of free gravel?  Either way, it seems incongruent with government ethics to be accepting a donation from an entity you are tasked with overseeing or granting approval for permits.  Is it now the accepted method of getting something you want from the county, give them something before or after you get it, grease the skids per se to make things smoother to guarantee a favorable outcome on your behalf? 

In the years gone by, this was called a bribe. I believe the county should pay Chesapeake Energy the fair market value of the donated gravel to offset any impropriety that may appear from this deal.

Kyle Lyons, MPH, RN
Severn, MD

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