COPY-Report: Opelika official did business with city contractors

OPELIKA, Ala. A newspaper reports the president of the Opelika City Council did business with a company about eight months before he cast the deciding vote giving it a contract to take over services from the city.

The story in Sunday's Opelika-Auburn News stated Jerry Teel was paid commission on three separate invoices for printing work he sold to Environmental Services Group of Duluth, Georgia. Teel was working as a sales agent for Craftmasters Printing of Auburn.Months later, Environmental Services Group received a contract to take over operations from Opelika's public works department. The council approved the deal on a three-to-two vote.Teel has been unavailable for comment today and the News reported that Teel failed to return repeated messages seeking comment.John Eddlemon, a managing partner with Environmental Services Group, confirmed that the company did business with Craftmasters Printing of Auburn starting in January 2005 with Teel working as the sales agent.Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said the Alabama Ethics Commission might need to look at whether there were any problems with the company getting the contract. He said Teel never informed him or the council about a possible conflict and did not abstain from votes involving Environmental Services Group.

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