Fertile ground for Tiregate
While state investigators characterized county employees they talked to as “entitled,” they also uncovered that when it came to tires, there was an actual “entitlement.”
Until roughly 2008, county workers could get an actual, legal, discount on tires through the contract the county had with its provider.
We say roughly because the “entitlement” didn’t disappear with a bang but sort of petered out when it was determined that having employees collect their discounted tires at work “looked bad,” and the company driver decided not to drive all over creation delivering them.
That “entitlement” was the fertile ground that Chris Oakden found, and it definitely contributed to his being able to sell employees tires that he hadn’t bothered to pay for himself.
Keep in mind only a half-dozen employees admitted buying tires from Oakden, and that they paid him for them, making them at some level victims as well as perhaps unwitting accomplices.
Plenty of people enjoy discounts in our society. Seniors and veterans can get a discount at businesses ranging from restaurants to pot dispensaries.
Military personnel are regularly offered discounts on patriotic holidays by stores, large and small.
We know that teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officers have at one time or another been offered a discount on services or food in recognition of their service to a community.
One of the reasons those discounts are discouraged is because there is such an opportunity for abuse. Willingly offering a discount for someone who puts their life on the line for a community is one thing, but having it demanded is another thing altogether.