November 27, 2014

Elyria
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County cancels purchase after ethics issue raised

ELYRIA — The county is backpedaling on its purchase of a heavy-duty icemaker after concerns were raised questioning the procedures used to buy the equipment.
On Thursday, the commissioners rescinded the July 3 invoice for $500 to buy the icemaker from county maintenance worker Tim Bring, who originally had offered to simply give the county the machine.
County Administrator Jim Cordes said he hadn’t felt comfortable taking the icemaker without compensating Bring, who operates Tim’s Heating & Air as a side business.
Commissioner Ted Kalo said county Maintenance Director Dennis Shawver called around to find out how much a new icemaker would cost and learned it could be as much as $12,000. A used one sold for about $3,000, he said.
Now county officials will get written estimates on the cost of an icemaker but will likely end up purchasing the one from Bring after the new round of estimates come in, said Commissioner Betty Blair.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will said that as long as the commissioners correct the process there won’t be any problem under state ethics laws.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.