JOANN KALENAK, DCCR BLOGGER — In a letter submitted early this week to County Administrator Robbie LeValley, local oil and gas watchdog Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC) ask for “swift resolution” to what they perceive as a conflict of interest for the county’s Oil and Gas Designee John Poulos. While inspecting Gunnison Energy facilities for Delta County, Poulas is also working for Geosyntec, an environmental consulting company engaged by Gunnison Energy to conduct a geohazard mitigation plan.
The letter, signed by CHC Executive Director Natasha Léger, further mentions an email exchange, obtained via open records, between Poulos and LeValley in which Poulos alerts LeValley of the potential conflict.
“Proceed with the contract with Geosyntec. Build the appropriate firewalls,” states LeValley in her emailed reply to Poulos.
County personnel manual requires all staff to disclose conflict of interest matters directly to County Commissioners. CHC’s letter alleges that Administrator LeValley bypassed this process but also mentions possible communications between LeValley and District 3 County Commissioner Wendell Koontz, who retired from Wolverine Fuels, formerly Bowie Resources, after being elected commissioner.
CHC’s letter further alleges state statute violations regarding conflicts of interest, writing, “Mr. Poulos, as a local government employee of Delta County, is inspecting Gunnison Energy facilities for Delta County while providing consulting services to Gunnison Energy through the consulting company Geosyntec in direct violation of the C.R.S. § 24-18-109 (2)(a).”
Pictured: John Poulos, who has worked in the mining industry for over 40 years (Whitton Feer)