The co-owner of an Elma pool supply company said today that FBI agents have questioned store personnel about swimming pool chemicals missing from the Buffalo Parks Department.
But Lynn Pierce, a partner in Hodgson's Pool Sales Inc., 5831 Seneca St., denied that her business received any portion of the the department's 11 tons of missing chlorine.
The Buffalo News reported Tuesday that a local retailer had received the chlorine, transported there by city workers, but did not name the store. WIVB-TV later reported that parks workers may have delivered more than three tons of city chlorine to the store.
That is incorrect, Mrs. Pierce said.
"If they've got proof, come right in, no problem," Mrs. Pierce said. "But we didn't have anything to do with it. We've got all the invoices to prove it."
The FBI and U.S. attorney's office are investigating alleged deliveries of granulated HTH chlorine from the Parks Department to the Elma store, sources close to 17-month parks corruption probe said.
Mrs. Pierce said today that she is a co-owner of the store with her husband, Tim, and her sister, Kim Hodgson.
Tim Pierce and Ms. Hodgson were questioned by the FBI about chlorine last summer and also "had to go downtown to testify for something," Mrs. Pierce said.
Asked if her husband and sister appeared before the federal grand jury investigating parks matters, Mrs. Pierce said:
"I don't know if it was a grand jury or what."
Tim Pierce and Ms. Hodgson could not be reached to comment.
The store does sell chlorine, but not chlorine paid for by Buffalo taxpayers, Mrs. Pierce said today.
"I don't know Delano. I've seen him on TV but I don't know him," Mrs. Pierce said.
G. Robert Langford, special agent in charge of the Buffalo FBI office, said his agents have learned that "a large amount" of the missing chlorine went to a Buffalo-area retailer, The News reported Tuesday. But Langford declined to name the retailer.
Langford declined to comment further today. Special Agent Paul Moskal, spokesman for the Buffalo FBI office, declined to comment.