But Williamson County Commissioner Rex Piper, who also is secretary for United Mine Workers District 12 and a former workers compensation officer, said he thought the violence resulted because the work was being performed by an out-of-state firm. The Williamson County Board
had negotiated recently with Duke Energy concerning work on the pipeline.One of the board's concerns was whether local laborers would be hired, Piper
"We do that with every project that comes along . . . and we commend all the companies who do hire local workers for their projects," Piper
said."Those companies who do have bragged about our local people.I feel personally . . . that every employer should hire local people." Piper
suggested such potential powder kegs -- hiring non-local workers for local projects -- should be defused before they begin.He
also said that ways to prevent incidents like Friday's attack should be addressed.
"Otherwise, it's a no-win situation," he
said."We have to get this resolved so we can finish this project and move on to the next one."
After the incident, a swarm of state police officers and Williamson County
sheriff's deputies gathered at King Tut's gas station in the Lake of Egypt community south of Marion.When questioned, state troopers would say only that they were conducting an investigation.
Later, at the site of the incident, a sheriff's deputy could be seen, seemingly on patrol.