By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Officials of US Nitrogen will not disclose the companies that employed three workers on the company's $200 million Greene County project who were arrested last week on drug charges.
Responding Tuesday to questions about the arrests, US Nitrogen spokeswoman Amanda Jennings would only say that the three were not directly employed by US Nitrogen.
"The individuals in question were employed by independent contractors working on the US Nitrogen site," she wrote in an email.
Records show that two of the three arrested had prior arrests and one of those, Howie C. Carver, 44, from South Carolina, had an extensive record including multiple drug convictions.
Also arrested were Michael C. Hayes, 21, of Bybee and Shane P. Andrews, 31, from Alabama. Andrews had prior arrests in Alabama.
Carver was charged with one count of possession of marijuana and Hayes was charged with two counts of simple possession. They were both arrested Tuesday.
Andrews was arrested Thursday following a traffic accident and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jennings issued a brief statement on US Nitrogen's drug policy when asked about the arrests.
"US Nitrogen follows the State of Tennessee’s Drug-Free Workplace
program for its employees and requires that all independently contracted
companies at its worksite have a robust drug screening policy in place," she wrote in an email.
"US Nitrogen requires contracting companies to screen
every employee before US Nitrogen will issue employee credentials to its
construction site. Each independent contractor company is required to
administer and monitor a drug-screening program for new employees upon
hire and for current employees at random intervals," she continued.
Asked whether US Nitrogen took any action against the employers of the
three, Jennings did not directly respond.
"I can only confirm that they are independent contractors and not employed by US Nitrogen," she wrote.