Ohio%20road%20salt%20duopoly - Ohio.com - Road-salt...

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Powered by Road-salt companies under attack in Ohio Morton, Cargill deny allegations of overcharging state by $60 million By Phil Trexler and Stephanie Warsmith Beacon Journal staff writers Published on Friday, Jan 07, 2011 Ohio's government watchdog alleges that two salt companies cost the state as much as $60 million since 2003 through their business practices and wined and dined public employees in the process. The Ohio Inspector General's report released Thursday also alleges that a determined lobbying effort by salt producers Morton and Cargill worked to keep the practice intact. Akron's public works manager is named in the report as one government worker who accepted Cleveland Browns football tickets and food from a Cargill representative. Twinsburg's roads superintendent is accused of accepting gratuities at a time when the city was doing business with Cargill. Representatives of the two companies said Thursday they did nothing wrong and defended their business practices. Public of±cials named in the report also denied any wrongdoing. The report includes referrals to the Ohio Attorney General's Of±ce, the state Ethic Commission, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Of±ce and the U.S. Department of Justice. The Ohio Department of Transportation misinterpreted bidding practices designed to favor Ohio-based companies, the report alleges. If two companies bid Ohio-mined salt, as Cargill and Morton do, ODOT determined that other companies should be excluded from the process, regardless of cost. The report contends the practice is in con²ict with the Department of Administration Services, which interprets the law for government of±ces. Chicago-based Morton Salt and Minneapolis-based Cargill took advantage of the misinterpretation of the Buy Ohio program to squeeze out competitors, according to the report, and then sold their products exclusively statewide at above-market prices. This created a''duopoly'' of salt contracts.
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2011 for the course ECON 220 taught by Professor Cai during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Ohio%20road%20salt%20duopoly - Ohio.com - Road-salt...

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