GDOT Commissioner Dodges Tough Questions About Hiring Illegal Worker and violation of state E-Verify law – via CBS-46 Atlanta
We have filed a compliant against the GDOT Commisssioner (HERE) that has gone to the GBI, thanks to Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren.
CBS Atlanta TV VIDEO
GDOT Admits Mistake For Breaking Immigration Law
GDOT Commissioner Dodges Tough Questions About Hiring Illegal Worker
By Jeff Chirico, CBS Atlanta Investigative Reporter
September 16, 2010
ATLANTA — A Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman admitted Thursday that his agency made a mistake in failing to comply with a state immigration law. The admission comes a month after a CBS Atlanta investigation revealed a GDOT contractor had hired an illegal immigrant and GDOT didn’t follow a law designed to prevent that.
GDOT spokesman David Spear had refused to speak on camera about CBS Atlanta’s investigation because of what he called “pending litigation.” He agreed to speak with CBS Atlanta after reporter Jeff Chirico tracked down GDOT commissioner, Vance Smith, after a public meeting.
Smith refused to answer the Tough Questions. He repeatedly referred Chirico to “the legal department.”
In August, CBS Atlanta revealed a contractor, Bromell Manicured Lawns of Conyers, had hired an illegal immigrant. Twenty-seven-year-old Silmar Constantino was hit and killed by a car while cutting grass on Freedom Parkway on July 28.
Bromell’s owner, Michael S. Bromell, signed an affidavit in June promising to check employees’ legal status in a federal work authorization program such as E-Verify. But according to Homeland Security documents, Bromell didn’t register with E-Verify until August -two months after he signed a contract with GDOT. State law requires it to be signed at the time of bidding.
“We made a mistake. We acknowledge that mistake. We corrected that mistake and we’re moving forward,” said Spear.
The CBS Atlanta investigation found GDOT didn’t require every bidder to submit and affidavit. Also, the affidavit GDOT prepared didn’t ask for the right information.
The immigration law GDOT admits to breaking went into effect January 1.
Spear said, “[GDOT is] a large agency. It takes time to adjust. We have hundreds of contracts, if not thousands of contracts.” Chirico responded, “But your legal team knows when laws are changed. It happens a few miles down the road.” Spear responded, “We did not know.”
Entire story and VIDEO HERE