Kendall County Not Fined Over Road Work Pay Violation, After All
The Illinois Department of Labor letter indicating the county was fined for failing to prevailing wage notice was a 'clerical error,' a state official said in an e-mail.
Kendall County will not have to pay a $1,200 fine, as the Illinois Department of Labor letter announcing the fine amounted to a "clerical error," a state employee said in an e-mail to a county official.
Frequent county critic Todd Milliron presented the letter at the County Board meeting last week, indicating the county had been fined over a small road project that was awarded to Pessina Construction without a competitive bid process.
The cost of replacing concrete curb along Orchard Road was less than $30,000, so county leaders were not required to complete a formal bidding process, County Board member Robert Davidson said after last week's County Board meeting.
Instead, Kendall County Highway Director Fran Klaas suggested Pessina Construction for the project; Davidson, who chairs the Highway Committee, signed off on it, and Pessina Construction completed the work, Davidson said.
Only Pessina Construction did not pay its workers the appropriate prevailing wage, and the Laborer District Council filed a successful complaint. The Illinois Department of Labor required Pessina Construction to pay the workers involved $5,858, which is the difference between their pay rate and the prevailing wage.
Corey Johnson, of the Laborer District Council, received a letter dated July 18 indicating that the county had been billed a penalty of 20 percent of the back wages, which was about $1,200.
On Thursday, Klaas e-mailed Ron Ward, a labor conciliator with the Illinois Department of Labor, and asked Ward to call him to discuss it. Pessina Contruction paid the fine amount on Thursday, and Ward replied to Klaas' e-mail on Friday.
"I have checked into this and found that the portion of the sheet that was checked as the public body being penalized the 20% was a clerical error in our Springfield Office," Ward wrote. "The back wages were paid a couple of weeks ago and just yesterday (08-09-12) Pessina Construction submitted the penalty amount. I apologize for this problem and any inconvenience it caused."
Related article: County Fined Over Prevailing Wage Issue on Orchard Road Project