Thursday, May 29, 2008
The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg
Developer “Buddy” Of Mayor Amicone Dragged
Into Federal Court For Serious Labor Violations
Last Thursday, May 22, Attorney Jonathan Lovett, accompanied by 20 Latino clients, held a press conference on the plaza in front of the United States District Courthouse in White Plains following the filing of a summons and complaint against developer Joseph Spiezio and his accountant and bookkeeper, accusing the three of enforcing a conspiratorial agreement in violation of his clients’ rights under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and New York State Labor Law.
Specifically, Spiezio is accused of numerous intentional unlawful acts including violation of Hours And Wages Laws, failing to pay overtime wages “for work performed in excess of 40 hours per week,” and “periodically requiring work on Sundays without any compensation at all.” More egregious, Spiezio unlawfully appropriated, in cash, for his own benefit, 20 percent of the wages paid to all of more than 40 Latino manual laborers and carpenters on the false representation that it was for “taxes to be withheld and paid by Defendants to federal, state
and Yonkers tax authorities.” In actuality, beginning in 2000 and over a period of several years, the money was stolen and not paid to any taxing authority.
Asked why the Plaintiffs did not complain sooner, Attorney Lovett indicated that former District Attorney Jeanine Pirro was notified, and “couldn’t care less,” and that Janet DiFiore refused to act as well. Asked what evidence he had, given the fact that the Plaintiffs were paid in cash, Lovett responded, “We have copies of a number of their payroll sheets.”
The 20 Plaintiffs who filed on Thursday come originally from Ecuador, Mexico and El Salvador. Lovett told reporters, “They were referred to as Spics, and treated like garbage.” He indicated that there are 20 more Plaintiffs who will also be filing against Spiezio soon.
Spiezio, who has enjoyed a “very cozy relationship” with Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, and special treatment from his administration, is known to have received an $800,000 “loan” from the City which he has failed to repay.
Court Report PG 1 - http://www.westchesterguardianonline.com/year/08/may%2008/vol%202%20no%2043%20may%2029%202008%20pdfs/WG052908X03.pdf
Court Report PG 2 - http://www.westchesterguardianonline.com/year/08/may%2008/vol%202%20no%2043%20may%2029%202008%20pdfs/WG052908X07.pdf