"As the sand rush intensifies, county regulators are being hired away by the industry, creating backlogs of work and fears of conflicts of interest."
"WHITEHALL, WIS. -- For Kevin Lien, the offer was almost too good to refuse. If he left his job as Trempealeau County's director of land management, the sand company would double his salary. And give him profit-sharing. And top it off with a shiny new pickup truck.
Lien, who has served this western Wisconsin county for 20 years, was tempted but ultimately decided to stay put.
Others receiving seductive offers did not.
As sand mining intensifies across Wisconsin and Minnesota, mineral companies are pouring into the region and many of them are enticing county regulators with job offers, hoping they will join an industry that they now oversee."