Subcontractor fired after failing to verify workers, says CCSD
by Kim Isaza
kisaza@mdjonline.com
February 08, 2011 11:26 PM | 7255 views | 22 22 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
North Cobb High School students walk past the construction of a new ninth grade center Tuesday at the school in Acworth.<br>Staff/Mike Jacoby
North Cobb High School students walk past the construction of a new ninth grade center Tuesday at the school in Acworth.
Staff/Mike Jacoby
slideshow
KENNESAW - Cobb School District officials said Tuesday that a subcontractor has been fired from the new ninth grade center at North Cobb High School project amid reports he was not verifying his workers immigration status.

Of the allegations, the district "does not consider this an acceptable situation," according to a statement, though the statement also said the district "is not aware of any illegal workers" on the North Cobb High project.

On Monday, the Fox Atlanta television station aired a report in which an undercover camera was sent on the job site with a member of the advocacy group Jobs for Georgians. The person wearing the camera asked the man in charge of the masonry contractors if papers are needed to work on the site.

The man, who said his name was Edgar, and whom others identified as the owner of Edgar Gonzalez Masonry, also said he paid his employees in cash only, according to the television report.

Although the Journal tried to ask Superintendent Fred Sanderson directly about the issue, the district replied with the statement e-mailed by spokesman Jay Dillon.

The district said that it is required to obtain a signed affidavit from the general contractor ensuring the firm is using E-Verify, and that the district does have such an affidavit from Doster Construction Co., of Birmingham, for this project. North Cobb is the only project Doster is doing for the district.

"The school district has discussed this matter with the program manager Brookwood/PBS&J, as well as Doster, to re-emphasize the district's expectation of compliance with the law," according to the statement.

Doster won the North Cobb project with a bid of $13.3 million. According to the most recent project update on the district's website, the project was 30 percent complete as of Dec. 14, 2010, and the total contract amount had been boosted to $13.4 million, due to $79,000 worth of change orders.

The district had already paid $3.9 million to Doster, according to the Dec. 14 update. The ninth-grade center is to be completed by Aug. 1.

The North Cobb ninth grade center is one of three projects financed by the Special Purpose Local Option Sale Tax that the district is paying an outside project manager to oversee. In May 2009, the district hired Brookwood/PBS&J to supervise construction of ninth-grade centers at North Cobb and South Cobb high schools, and a replacement school for East Side Elementary. PBS&J was to be paid about $998,800 for overseeing all three projects.

Although state law requires contractors on public projects to confirm that their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States, contractors commonly use independent contractors, of whom employers are not specifically required to verify work eligibility.

But that's just an excuse to anti-illegal immigration activist D.A. King, who heads the Dustin Inman Society.

"The public employer, in this case the school district, is responsible, legally and morally, to ensure that the E-Verify is being used for all levels of contractors," King said. "The spirit of the law says each level of contractor must use E-Verify to check their newly hired employees."

The problem, though, is that independent contractors cannot be checked through E-Verify. King said there is an effort underway "to close the independent contractor black market labor loophole."

"Judson Hill has Senate Bill 27 aimed directly between the eyes of public-works contracts. It would eliminate any necessity for an audit by requiring that no one can be a public works contractor unless they are using the ICE Image system," King said. The legislation includes penalties for local governments and the contractors, he said.

That system would verify independent contractors, he said.

The school situation is reminiscent of controversies faced by the county government a year ago on the new courthouse construction.

"Nobody is surprised that this is happening," King said of illegal workers. "Nobody thinks that building employers in Georgia have the integrity to hire legal labor as long as they can make a larger profit and stand a better chance of being struck by lightning than being prosecuted."

Reporter Kathryn Malone contributed to this report.

Comments
(22)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
bla bla bla bla
|
August 12, 2011
the politicians know this is going on they want legal americans begging at MUST ministries,they are all cronies
bla bla bla bla
|
August 12, 2011
they arent going to fine anyone this is the crony way this is the way its done
mellieb48
|
February 10, 2011
I am glad they got caught...& I hope Gonzalas is slapped with a hefty fine!! They are taking jobs away from others who would gladly do the work. We have to stop these contractors from hiring illegals...make them pay & pay big every time they are caught...even to the pint of losing their license to build...get them where it hurts the most...in the wallet & public embarrassment.
Darlene in Smyrna
|
February 10, 2011
You want to see hate? I just went on to the Dustin Inman Society website blog to see a video that Mr King has posted from the Spanish TV network. They are holding up a picture of Governor Deal in a photo-shopped Nazi uniform and a Hitler mustache! They hate us!

ILLEGAL ALIENS GET OUT OF GEORGIA!
Marie in Marietta
|
February 10, 2011
I hope that the school board gets some heat for this! Good for D.A. King. I have a friend who works at the Capitol and she tells me he is there every day and is getting good legislation to our lawmakers. They need all the help they can get!

Randy H
|
February 10, 2011
Georgia is a much better place becaus eof the work D.A. King does.
mk - had enough!!
|
February 10, 2011
Talk about hate! The illegals that are here have so much hate & disrespect for the American people & Americas rule of law,... they are willing to come here & destroy our way of life,... to better theirs!

They are willing to LIE, CHEAT & STEAL!! You think that is something to be proud of?? These aren't upstanding people, these are the people that weren't willing to stay in their own country & fight for things to get better!!

That is the hate, el paso!

I HATE seeing what is happening to America, while the brainwashing continues! Well, el paso, you will never shut me up! I don't fall for the pc propaganda!
anguswade
|
February 09, 2011
talk , talk , and more talk. no proscecution , no

fines , no stoppage.

what is it about ILLEGAL that our "officials" do

not undestand! do they not understand (U.S.)

the ENGLISH language.???
IntelMike
|
February 09, 2011
I'm fine with enforcing the laws, but we need to use common sense in our actions and decisions. Nowadays all I hear is people complaining about how expensive everything is and how the economy is bad. In theory, deportation sounds like a viable solution, but in reality it's not. Our local economy is so interwoven with the cheap labor of illegals that if they were to be deported and legal workers took their place, consumer goods and services would skyrocket.

If you want to see ghost towns in Georgia then go head and enact laws like they have in Arizona.

@John--Why don't you stop by a construction site and find an illegal and take his job. Try it out and see how you like the work conditions and pay.

@ Pat H--I don't know why I am wasting my time replying to you, but your comment that North Cobb High school is expanding to accommodate the illegal's kids is just stupid considering that only 11% of the kids there are Hispanic and 80% are Black and White. Also, I believe that in recent years there were several nice subdivisions built there and I don't think that the "illegals" bought those houses!

If D.A. King wants to help the community then he needs to go out with Howard Clark and build houses for Habitat for Humanity instead of looking for his 15 minutes of fame. Like Glen Beck, King is a fear monger. They have these twisted ideas which are aimed at provoking fear in Americans. Wonder if D.A. King believe in "second chances."
David Sanchez
|
February 09, 2011
I have met the poster here "El Paso". He is a far left angry Hispanic human hate machine who works for Jerry Gonzalez.

D.A. ROCKS!
Juana Ilegalme
|
February 09, 2011
BORDERS ARE HUMAN RIFGTS VIOLATIONS! Stop telling us we cannot go whereever we want! We will dpo anything we want and your gringo immigration laws are racist!

Ours in Mexico are simply there to preseve our nation for Mexicans! THAT's different!
Watcher...
|
February 09, 2011
"el paso" sounds like our old Friend Rich Pelligrino who would do anything to bring more Illegals to the United States.
Agreed Pat Head
|
February 09, 2011
We have over 10,000 ESOL students in CCSD. Their parents do not pay taxes and we are paying to educate these children. On top of paying to educate them, they receive free breakfast and lunch compliments of the taxpayers. The schools do not ask for verification of legal status. If they had to request verification, we would not have 10,000 students! As for road projects, CW Matthews is the biggest contrator and hires illegals. The governemtn project they just completed at Corner Road and Lost Mountain Road had nothing but hispanics!
anonymouses
|
February 09, 2011
yes, the mom and pop store should not, cannot try to identify who is who...strictly a federal issue....unless, of course, that you want to buy a beer from mom and pop. then they are suddenly capable of glancing at an I.D. and verifying it's valid.
Get Real
|
February 09, 2011
North Cobb getting a new building has nothing to do with illegal workers. They are building a 9th grade center and are also the largest high school in the County.
hungry contractor
|
February 09, 2011
El Paso, the Mexican side of the Rio is beckoning you! Thank you D.A. King. This is more of the same for the construction industry. It is all about skirting payroll taxes, as well as other payroll burdens, government regulations, and to profit from paying below market wages(which are already extremely low due to economic conditions). The same burdens that law abidding construction companies (yes,there are some)attempt to comply and adhere to. Doster, Brookwood/PBS&J, and CCSD are now on notice (as if they were not already aware)of the system cheating going on. I'll bet there will be no change other than a different scapegoat sub until the punishment starts to move up the food chain, including PBS&J and Jay Dillon, et.al. I know how the game is played, having been a legal and honest General Contractor in the Atlanta market for 43 years and I am suffering due to these types of tactics.
Disagree with ElPaso
|
February 09, 2011
Hate to disagree with you, ElPaso, but ILLEGAL immigrants are NOT an economic net. If they like it so much here in the good ol' USA - then they need to take the time to become LEGAL, pay taxes, purchase insurance and all of the other things that legal Americans are required to do.
el paso
|
February 09, 2011
Once again we hear from the hate mongers. How much is D A King paid to spread his message of hate? The truth is that illegal immigrants are a net economic positive. We also will need them in the future due to low birth rates and our aging population.
Freedom to Work
|
February 09, 2011
Why is it the brick mason's job to enforce immigration? Why not require all preachers to check immigration status before a baptismal? Really folks, it's the Federal Government's job to secure the border and keep up with those they allow into the country. Mom and Pop business cannot, and should not, have to try to enforce laws that even the law enforcement community can't get right. If the republicans want to be "Pro Business" why not start by removing useless restrictions on business and tell the law enforcement officers of GA to do their job. Business owners all ready collect all the sales tax for the government, why should they now have to enforce immigration when our own state law enforcement agencies will not do the job they were hired to do.
American worker
|
February 09, 2011
Thanks to D.A. King for his constant pressure
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides