Gas gouging report goes to Atlanta - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gas gouging report goes to Atlanta

October 4, 2005

Albany -- Sheriff's Investigators say they believe there was gas gouging in Dougherty County after Hurricane Katrina. Now it's up to the Governor's Office to prosecute.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators turned in their report on suspected gas gouging to the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs Tuesday. That office handles price gouging prosecution during an emergency declaration.

Sheriff's Investigators checked the prices of every gas station in the county, and gathered cost information and evidence from stores when people called in complaints.

Investigators would not name any of the suspected Dougherty County businesses, because none has been charged. "I think there are definitely some instances that warrant further investigation by the Office of Consumer Affairs, yes," said Lt. Craig Dodd of the Dougherty Co. Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Jamil Saba had his Investigators start looking into price gouging after Governor Sonny Perdue issued his emergency declaration, to stop exorbitant gas prices. The order allows the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs to seek civil sanctions against retailers who can't justify their prices based on the price they paid for the product.

Governor's Office Spokesman Bill Cloud says gas gouging complaints to his office have fallen off dramatically since Monday. The Consumer Affair's office has more than 1,500 complaints they are investigating statewide.

If a business is found to be price gouging, they could face fines and restitution payments to consumers.

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