Consumer Watchdog Presses For Investigation Of Two State Officials

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— Consumer Watchdog is not convinced that Chief Deputy Director Odette Madriago and Deputy Director Stewart Black are clear of conflict-of-interest violations. They want an outside agency to look into the allegations.

The State Department of Toxic Substance Control says an internal review found no conflict of interest for two of the department's top officials, but Consumer Watchdog is pressing for an outside investigation.

The pair came under fire after Consumer Watchdog investigated. The group's Liza Tucker said state forms show the two officials invested heavily in oil and chemical companies over years. Those firms rely on the state agency for regulation, permits and corrective action.

Tucker wants the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate the conflict of interest allegations.

"If they were to do this investigation, they would be looking at whether any decisions taken by these individuals actually affected substantially, the stock price of any of the companies in which they invest," said Tucker

The state agency said in a written statement that they will work with the commission if it chooses to investigate. The statement said the agency's internal review uncovered no wrongdoing.

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