JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) — A West Virginia Delegate recently took on a new position with Rockwool, and while he believes he’s helping out his community, some residents feel differently.
Delegate Paul Espinosa recently was hired as Rockwool’s Public Affairs Manager at its Ranson location and will serve as the primary point of contact for Rockwool in the community.
“I certainly felt like it was my due-diligence and I reached out directly to West Virginia’s D.E.P officials to hear for myself, is this facility safe or not safe for our children and other sensitive populations, and the clear unequivocal answer I received was that Rockwool was compliant with all state, federal, environmental laws, regulations and requirements,” said Espinosa.
Delegate Espinosa’s announcement stirred a mixed reaction with the public on social media. Facebook users on the Rockwool Ranson Community page congratulated Espinosa on his new role while others say he turned his back on the community and his role presents a conflict of interest in legislation.
“It’s another example of their disregard of the will for the people and their intent to buy influence wherever they can and Jefferson County Vision wants to let Rockwool know that this will not work,” said Secretary of JCV Lori Maloney. “No matter what you do to buy our political leaders, you will never be able to buy the support of the citizens of Jefferson County.”
Espinosa’s job went into effect immediately.
“A corporation bought a legislator, there is no way to mix the words around it,” said West Virginia Delegate Samantha Brown. “I obviously don’t wish him any ill will but there’s a level of responsibility that comes when being a legislator. So, no I wouldn’t have done it, I don’t advise it, I think he made a terrible decision and frankly, I would say the same thing about the corporation if I didn’t know they knew exactly what they were doing.”