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Trouble at the Lighthouse Inn

Lee Howard Business Reporter

Publication: The Day

Published October 17. 2008 4:00AM   Updated December 11. 2009 6:06PM
Arrest warrants out for two owners for not cooperating in probe on unpaid wages

New London - Warrants have been issued for the arrests of two owners of The Lighthouse Inn who have been uncooperative in an investigation into failure to pay employee wages, the state Department of Labor said Thursday.


Nancy Steffens, a Labor Department spokesman, said warrants were issued Wednesday by the New London Superior Court for the arrests of Christopher Plummer and Maureen Clark.


”We have not gotten very good cooperation from the owners,” Steffens said.


Steffens said the owners have not produced records that have been requested and have been difficult to track down. Based on their lack of cooperation and affidavits from seven former employees, Plummer and Clark are each being charged with seven counts of failure to pay wages, she said.


The total amount of wages in question is a little more than $14,000.


The charges against Plummer and Clark include four felonies and three misdemeanors. The felonies are for wages above $1,000 that were not paid, and the misdemeanors for amounts under $1,000, Steffens said.


In addition, the Lighthouse Inn owners have been charged with 14 counts of hindering an investigation, based on the number of days each of them has failed to comply with a subpoena from the Labor Department's Wage and Workplace Standards Division. Fines for these charges can run from $150 to $200 a day and will continue to mount as time goes by, Steffens said.


Plummer has been the face of The Lighthouse Inn for the past few months, and his disputes with employees had led to much of the staff losing their jobs. Clark has not been seen at the inn and restaurant for an extended period of time, according to former employees.


The inn's restaurant and bar were closed in August because the facility lacked hot water. The inn has remained open, though guests are asked to shower in a nearby building.


A phone message left at The Lighthouse Inn to Plummer was not answered Thursday evening.


”This is an open case,” Steffens said. “We will be continuing our investigation.”


Steffens said if other employees haven't been paid, they can file a complaint by calling the Labor Department at (860) 263-6790.


L.HOWARD@THEDAY.COM



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