WBRZ TV in Baton Rouge is reporting about multiple worker complaints about WRS (for Wallace Rush and Schmidt), a firm employed to do cleanup work in the aftermath of flooding in Louisiana.
This is the company whose owners include Arkansas state Rep. Dave Wallace of Leachville. It had earlier been mentioned in reporting about a fatal bus wreck involving undocumented workers en route to a cleanup project his company was handling.
Wallace, a Republican running for state Senate this year, had said at that time that the workers hadn’t yet been employed by him and he wouldn’t have hired them without proper documents.
The latest story says:
There are serious allegations of payroll problems by a company already under the microscope for unscrupulous activities. The company hired hundreds of people in Baton Rouge to gut buildings damaged by the flood. Now, many of those workers claim they haven’t been paid.
The company is WRS Inc. which stands for “Wallace Rush Schmidt.” People who did work for them say there were no applications, no background checks and many claim there was also no payment for the work they performed.
…The Attorney for WRS said about 100 people have not been paid because the company did not have the correct Social Security numbers for those employees. The company’s attorney said it has turned in thousands of I-9 forms to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. However, many of the people we talked to said they didn’t have to fill out any job applications or go through any background checks before they started working.
Wallace is a Tea Party style Republican, a hawk on government spending. But he’s apparently made a hefty amount of money contracting for government-paid cleanup projects. He’s put more than $120,000 of his own money into his race to unseat Sen. David Burnett.