But it is of even more concern to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside because the man at the center of the investigation, Darshan Dhaliwal, is a major donor -- with a $4.5 million pledge at stake.
The headline says:
Suit alleges dishonesty at the pump: Oil giant accuses Mequon man of selling unbranded gas under BP name, prices at stations
A Mequon gas station magnate with deep political ties is being sued in federal court on allegations of swindling customers out of brand-name gas at as many as 120 stations nationwide, including a handful in Wisconsin.Read the entire story HERE.
Oil giant BP alleges that Darshan Dhaliwal, a longtime friend of former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and owner of Bulk Petroleum, knowingly sold - and continues to sell - unbranded gasoline out of BP stations, charging brand-name prices and sticking unsuspecting customers with gas not formulated with the promised protectants and detergents designed to extend the life of your car.
Bulk Petroleum Corp. owns 65 gas stations in Wisconsin. Here are the only ones in this area:
Marathon, 3024 Rapids Dr., RacineAnd now back to Parkside. The penultimate graf of the Journal Sentinel's story says:
Marathon, 9001 Durand Ave., Sturtevant
BP, 224 E. Washington St., Burlington
Marathon, 704 75th St., Kenosha
In 2006, Dhaliwal pledged $4.5 million to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to expand its communication arts building...
Lenny Klaver, UW-P vice chancellor, university relations and advancement, said this afternoon that Dhaliwal's pledge "is on track under its schedule to be paid," but he wouldn't disclose how much has been received or how many years the pledge involves. ("As a private foundation we don't disclose...")
Although he said, "When I saw this story this morning, I knew I would get a call today," he didn't express concern about the pledge, which is in its second year of payment. "It wasn't a pledge made by his business, it was a personal pledge made by him."
The money is for an expansion and renovation of UW-Parkside's Communication Arts Building; planning is under way with architects. The project's total cost is estimated at $34.5 million; groundbreaking is expected in 2009.
A few years ago Dhaliwal contributed $200,000 toward UW-Parkside's modern language lab.
His connection to UW-Parkside goes back several years, according to Klaver, "when he steered some potential students Parkside's way, several international students from India who have received degrees from Parkside."
A biography of Dhaliwal, says he grew up the eldest son of a successful farmer in India. He met a Peace Corps volunteer and decided to come to the U.S. for college in North Dakota, where he was the only Indian and felt out of place. But he took a bus trip that stopped in Milwaukee. Someone he knew gave him a tour and Dhaliwal decided he was in "God's country."
He married a Wisconsin girl in 1974, leased his first gas station -- for $300 a month -- in 1977, and bought his first station, for $30,000 in 1979. Today he owns nearly 1,000 gas stations, according to the NRI International website. (NRI stands for non-resident Indian)
NRI says of Dhaliwal: "He's one of the quietest human beings. He does not like to talk in public. He won't give a speech."