Delegates Ask State To Probe Kane Company
Four Democratic delegates asked yesterday for an investigation into whether a major office moving company headed by the former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party had violated any state wage laws.
The Post reported last week that federal prosecutors have alleged that the Kane Company and its subsidiaries for years paid its workers less than required by federal contracts while submitting "false and fraudulent documents" indicating the company was in compliance.
John Kane, the company's chief executive officer, was chairman of the Maryland GOP from late 2002 through 2006 and is the current chairman of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, a nonpartisan business group.
in an interview, he dismissed the delegates' request as "a witch hunt."
The Post story noted that in addition to federal contracts, Kane's companies have done significant contract work for the state of Maryland. Between 2000 and 2008, the state paid companies nearly $2 million, according to records from the state Comptroller's Office.
"While the work done for the state is not a part of the federal complaint, we are concerned that Mr. Kane's companies may have violated Maryland employment and wage laws," said the letter signed by four delegates, who asked the state Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation to investigate. They ask specifically whether the state's prevailing wage law or living wage law was violated.
The letter is signed by Del. Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery), Del. Aisha Braveboy (D-Prince George's), Del. Roger Manno (D-Montgomery) and Del. Cheryl Glenn (D-Baltimore).
"That's certainly the delegates' right to ask those questions," Kane said. "But they'll find there's nothing there. I would say that it's probably a witch hunt."
Kane said the federal complaint originated with a disgruntled employee who stands to gain financially if there is any recovery against his company in the federal civil filing. He maintained the company had never deliberately underpaid wages and has won awards for its workplace environment.
"You don't win 'best places to work' awards unless there's an organization where there's integrity," Kane said.
Kane also bristled at the prominent mention his past chairmanship of the Maryland GOP has received in news accounts about the episode, saying he is no longer involved with the party.
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