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Plea reached in first-ever common construction wage prosecution

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The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has reached a plea agreement in a common construction wage violation involving an Indianapolis contractor, believed to be the first prosecution of this kind in Indiana.

White River Mechanical Inc. worked as a subcontractor on two Indianapolis Public School projects. A grand jury investigation in March 2011 showed that several employees of White River Mechanical were underpaid for work on the public school projects. The company incorrectly listed skill levels and pay rates on company payroll records and misrepresented the status of employees on required reporting to IPS.  

What used to be known as the prevailing wage law, Indiana Code 5-16-7, the Common Construction Wage Act requires any entity awarded a contract for public work – and any subcontractor of the construction – to pay no less than the predetermined common wage rate as set by a committee in each county. Employees are divided into three classes – unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled.  A contractor or subcontractor who knowingly fails to pay the rate of wages commits a Class B misdemeanor. Changes were made to the law during the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly that went into effect July 1.

As part of the plea agreement, White River Mechanical will pay a $1,000 fine and submit to an audit by the Indiana Department of Labor to determine the amount it owes to current and former employees. The prosecutor’s office estimated that the amount of unpaid wages and benefits is more than $50,000.

“Today we are sending a message that we will abide by and enforce the Common Wage law in Marion County,” said Prosecutor Terry Curry.  “Contractors who undercut the Common Wage law are taking advantage of their employees, their peers, and the public by not paying their workers the amount that is required and set by law.  At the same time, they are competing unfairly against those companies who play by the rules and pay their employees the correct and fair wage they are owed.”

The Indiana Department of Labor reported that this is the first time this kind of violation has been prosecuted in Indiana.

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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