State news

DES MOINES — A southeast Iowa landowner claims he was offered the services of a prostitute in exchange for allowing a crude oil pipeline to go through his property.

Hughie Tweedy of rural Montrose told reporters Monday that a regional representative of Dakota Access LLC on three separate occasions offered “the sexual services of a woman” if Tweedy would allow the pipeline to run through his property.

A Dakota Access representative said the company is looking into the allegations.

Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, wants to construct a 1,134-mile pipeline to carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The $3.8 billion pipeline would span 343 miles and 18 counties in Iowa, from the state’s northwest corner to the southeast corner.

Tweedy said he does not want the pipeline to run through his property, and as a self-described Libertarian, he does not think the government should force him to acquiesce via eminent domain.

Tweedy said he has expressed his position multiple times to Dakota Access officials. Tweedy said the company’s regional representative offered “a $1,200 teenage prostitute” in exchange for his cooperation.

Tweedy also claims the company representative, whom Tweedy would not name, told Tweedy an archaeological survey performed on Tweedy’s property was illegal, fake and, in Tweedy’s words, “nothing more than a hoop Dakota Access was jumping through” for the state utilities board that is considering whether to approve the pipeline project.

“We are aware of allegations that have been made concerning the conduct of an employee of one of our contractors,” Dakota Access spokeswoman Vicki Anderson Granado said in an emailed response. “We take these types of matters very seriously and are investigating further.”

Tweedy said he recorded two of the face-to-face conversations over beers. He said his lawyer recommended he not play the recording for the media because it may be used in possible future litigation. He said he would be willing to give them to state investigators, if subpoenaed.

Standing on the steps of the Iowa Capitol, Tweedy implored state and federal lawmakers to uphold property rights and stop the pipeline project in Iowa.

“I don’t care if it’s a highway to heaven paved in gold, I don’t want it on our property,” Tweedy said. “And here we go. They came to me picking this fight. I did not go to Texas. They have come to south Lee County. And I will do everything humanly possible to peaceably resolve this.

“I want the pipeline to go around me, but honestly I don’t want the pipeline in the state of Iowa. I think the cost and benefits don’t add up.”

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