Freeport contractor is barred from performing public work in NY for 5 years

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A Freeport-based construction company is barred from performing public work, after pleading guilty to falsifying paperwork with the Wantagh Union Free School District, officials said Thursday. The investigation was one of several into public work matters announced by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

In one of the matters, GTX Construction Associates Corp pleaded guilty on Wednesday, according to District Attorney Anne Donnelly.

The company was sentenced to a $1,000 fine and a conditional discharge. Under the New York State Labor Law, this felony conviction prohibits GTX and its principal Giovanni Napolitano from performing any public work contracts in New York State for five years.

“It is essential that the companies our school districts trust to perform work are operating honestly and legally,” Donnelly said in a written statement. “GTX Construction Associates Corp filed fraudulent surety bond paperwork with the Wantagh Union Free School District purporting to be from a company that was in actuality no longer performing that service. I thank the Wantagh Union Free School District for referring this company’s conduct for investigation and am pleased that with this guilty plea GTX will be barred from any public work for the next five years.”

The contractor presented falsified documents to our district, and we fortunately uncovered this before the district suffered any financial loss,” John McNamara, superintendent of the Wantagh Union Free School District said, in a written statement. “The Board of Education quickly terminated GTX and reported the matter to the authorities.”

According to the charges, on Oct. 22, 2022, the defendant entered a public work contract with the Wantagh Union Free School District for masonry restoration at the Mandalay Elementary School. The contract required that the defendant secure a payment and labor/material bond from a licensed surety company to guarantee the quality of the work and the payment of wages.

Almost immediately at the start of the project, the Wantagh assistant superintendent for business determined that GTX performed substandard work and terminated the contract. The DA’s investigation revealed that GTX filed a forged and falsified surety bond with the school district. Officials said that GTX submitted a bond that Aegis Security Insurance Company purportedly issued. However, per Aegis Security, the company left the bonding industry in 2021.

Additionally, in two separate and unrelated public work investigations, NCDA secured more than $60,000 in unpaid prevailing wages for six construction workers.

JLN Contracting, Inc., of Central Islip, performed carpentry work at Oceanside High School for six weeks in the summer of 2022. The employee on the project was paid $27 an hour in cash instead of the $85.54 an hour rate of wages and benefits prescribed under state law. The complaining witness received payment from NCDA of $12,293.40 last week to fully compensate him for his labor.

In the spring and summer of 2023, Gulf States Protective Coatings Inc. of La Porte, Texas, contracted to perform the highly specialized work of restoration of a water tank and treatment facilities at the Jericho Water District. District Council 9 Painters and Allied Trades Union notified NCDA that the non-union Texas company underpaid its employees by approximately $20 an hour. A review of the certified payroll records obtained from the Jericho Water District and the paychecks from the employer revealed that five workers were underpaid $49,175, just less than $10,000.00 per employee. Payments were made to the workers at the end of January 2024.

“These companies underpaid workers a total of more than $60,000 in wages to which they were entitled through prevailing wage,” Donnelly said in a written statement.

In one instance, a worker was paid $60 an hour less than what he was owed for his carpentry work at a local high school,” she said “My Revenue, Auto, Insurance and Labor Crime Bureau is aggressively investigating these wage violations and holding companies accountable when they short their employees. I thank the Oceanside School District and District Council 9 Painters and Allied Trades Union for their referral of these matters.”

 

 



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