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Trempealeau County supervisor under investigation for dealings with frac-sand company

WHITEHALL - A Trempealeau County board supervisor is under investigation for possible conflict of interest charges along with threatening a county employee over his business dealings with a Texas frac-sand mining company called Sand Tran.

In an article published in Sunday's Minneapolis Star-Tribune, a complaint was filed against board member David Suchla of Independence for reportedly not disclosing his business interests with the frac-sand mining company and also for issuing threats against Trempealu County''s Environment and Land Use Director Kevin Lein against exposing such interests. The complaint came from a fellow board member Sally Miller of Galesville. Suchla denies the charges and said he has recused himself from county dealings on the frac sand question because of his business interests which he did not deny. 

The complaint is being investigated by the La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke's office. He can decide whether to prosecute or not. If he declines, the complaint could go to the state's Department of Justice.

Trempealeau County has issued more permits for frac sand mining, processing plants and rail loading facilities than any other in the state. However, the county board is to vote upon a 6-12 month pemit moratorium proposal at its monthly meeting Monday evening in Whitehall.